Running for Older People: Staying Fit at Fifty

In 2013, an elderly couple from Australia broke the world record for running a marathon every day for an entire year. Janette Murray-Wakelin, 64, and Alan Murray, 68, are just two of the many older runners who have proven that age truly does not matter–especially in running.

Running has become a very common exercise for people of all ages. A research from University of California at Stanford found out that running slows aging and improves elderly health. The research also revealed that older people who run have a reduced risk of heart disease, neurological disease, cancer, as well as sleep disorders. Aside from this, running has also proven to be helpful to older people who suffer from memory loss according to a study conducted by University of Colorado Boulder. Running also relieves emotional stress and is proven to improve psychological health.

Although running is generally good and advisable for older people, there are still important things to keep in mind before trying the exercise.

There’s no age limit when it comes to running. However, for aspiring runners, especially those over the age of 50, it is recommended to consult a doctor prior to trying to run to ensure that it is safe for them. It’s crucial to know that the runner is in good shape for running; otherwise, the workout may do more harm than good.

For those who are just starting to run, remember to take it easy. Keep running at a slow to moderate pace. Any exercise done regularly, even with low impact or intensity, will still give amazing results.

Another factor to consider is good nutrition. Good eating habit will lead to healthier, stronger body that can withstand daily workouts. Hydration is also extremely important before and after running.

Do some warm ups before actual running. After running, it is also essential to stretch.

Cycling or spinning is also a good pre-running warm up. Cycling can improve the overall strength of your muscles. With increased muscle endurance, you can have better running performance.
One of the important things to remember while running is to stay alert and be mindful of your body’s reaction while jogging. If severe pains in the knees, joints, legs, or hips are felt, give yourself a rest and don’t push yourself too hard. Also, if physical pains are experienced, you should be checked by a health professional right away.
If your doctor has advised that running is not suitable for you, some other form of low-impact running can still be tried such as aqua jogging or deep-water running. Deep-water running is an excellent aerobic exercise. It has great effects on the heart and lungs as well.

Don’t forget to rest in between runs. Don’t overdo it.

There are older people who participated and did well at marathons. Even for older people who plan to start running just now, it is never too late. With proper preparation and precaution, it is possible for older people to run and enjoy the benefits running has to offer.

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