Most people assume that running is a young person’s sport – but they could not be more wrong. Senior runners can run well into retirement. As we get older, there are physical changes. This means the immune system becomes weaker, lung elasticity declines, muscle elasticity reduces, muscle mass reduces, aerobic capacity decreases, and bone density reduces. All of these are going to have a negative impact on your performance as a runner – but that does not mean that you cannot run.
What Are The Benefits?
Seniors are going to have the same benefits of running as everyone else, but they might be more evident in seniors. This means a improved mobility and coordination; improved bones, muscles and joints; reduced depression and anxiety; and a reduction in cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease.
Especially because of the risk of falls and eventual bone fractures caused by a fall, increased bone density, coordination, and muscle strength are all especially important for older people. This is going to allow them to be more independent later in life.
How Can You Get Started
We already hinted at it before, there is no such thing as being too old to get started on running. It helps to improve psychological health, increases fitness and mobility in seniors, and helps to slow down effects of ageing.
Before you get started (as with any physical exercise program) you should get a checkup from a doctor. Especially in seniors a doctor is going to make sure that you run safely and check for high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease.
As with other people, you want to make sure that you give yourself realistic goals that you are able to achieve. This means that you do not push the body more than it can handle, and you warm up and stretch afterwards. Remember that the muscles are more prone to injury and far less elastic than they were when you were younger.
It is important to avoid overtraining and take your rest, this is going to help prevent your body from demanding too much at once. It may also be a good idea to take in some aerobic training such as skiing, swimming, cycling, and aqua-running.
One of the great benefits of learning to run at a later age is when you live in an independent living facility. This means that you may have other, likeminded seniors around you who have the same goals and wishes. That way, you can push one another help each other get better.