As we grow older, it might seem like our options for enjoying life are continuously being narrowed down. In fact, in most media, the hobbies that aging adults enjoy all seem to revolve around slow-paced and sedentary activities. However, this is not the case. Many research studies have shown that exercising and living a life full of stimulating mental and physical activity is extremely beneficial to people across all ages, especially aging adults!
So, if you are dreaming of running along the track like the younger people in your life, you can! Here are some tips to get you started.
First Step Before Beginning Your Running Program
This might sound extremely demoralizing, but it is best to first consult your doctor and perform a full physical examination to have a better view of your body condition and current health before you start. This is extremely important if you have largely led an inactive lifestyle over the past few years, have any chronic conditions, or are severely overweight.
Make sure to mention any old injuries that you have or any other concerns that you are worried about. For example, it might be best to start slowly if you have issues with your spine or ankles. Walking would be safer and better as you slowly build up to a run.
Fitting and Comfortable Shoes
Investing in a good pair of shoes will not only make sure that they last a long time, but also that you have a more comfortable and safer walking experience. Sports shoes now come in a large and diverse range to meet the needs of any activity and terrain. Even if you are flat-footed, so long as you get the right pair of shoes with proper support and cushioning, you will be set to run long distances.
Plan Ahead and Check Your Routes
As the saying goes “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail,” the same goes for running. Before you get started with your first run, make sure you know where you plan on running to. This means checking the safety of the route, the toughness of the terrain, as well as ensuring that someone knows the path that you eventually decide on.
Next, you should set realistic goals. Not everyone can just start off by running five miles, and even if they do, it may lead to injuries and overwhelming fatigue. Have a progressive running plan, whether it is trying a walk/run approach, varying between treadmill and outdoor runs, or even an online Couch to 5K progressive program. Take the time to try out and experiment with the different options and allow yourself to customize the best plan for yourself.
Run with Others!
Just because running isn’t a team sport, doesn’t mean that you cannot turn it into a social activity. Whether it is joining a senior living community event or working with certified healthcare professionals in a health and fitness program, running does not have to be an isolating activity if you don’t want it to be.