5 Running Tips for Seniors
No matter what your age is, running can be beneficial to your physical and mental health. Running is a great exercise to improve your cardiovascular system, and staying in good shape and moving your body is especially important as you grow older.
Running has a significant impact on your muscles and joints, that is why running slow is good for you, especially if you tailor it by your body’s abilities.
Here are five tips on how to begin running as a senior!
Know Your Body’s Limits
Check with your doctor first before starting your exercise program. This is important because if you haven’t done any exercises in a while, it is crucial to check whether your body can adapt to any form of increased ability.
After checking your health, the smartest thing to do is to find a good running program for beginners. Yes, you could just start running and do it until you reach your body’s limit, but this approach could put you on a higher risk of serious injury.
There are plenty of beginner running plans, and if one does not suit you, you can change it to the one you can handle. After running for some time, you will be able to make your own running plan because you will be in tune with your health and your stamina levels.
Learn How to Stretch
The pre-running stretch is annoying to many runners, but because it is an essential step of your run, it should never be overlooked, especially if you are older. A good stretch can drastically lower your chances of injury, and it will give you time to prepare for the run mentally.
Take your time to stretch all the muscle fibres that you will need for your runs, such as leg, hamstring, and back muscles.
Here are some good stretches to do before running:
Build Endurance Gradually
Do not be overly ambitious with your runs when you are starting. If you can only run for 10 minutes, that is good enough. After some time, you will be able to run for longer. Running longer than your body’s abilities can increase your chances of injury, but also it can affect your motivation to exercise. If you cannot start running right away, you can start by walking or incorporate walking intervals in your runs.
Just like your running time, your running pace will also improve over time.
Resting is the Most Important
As you age, resting becomes the most vital activity in your life. This is also true for running. Typically it is not wise to run every day, especially if you are starting out. Running 2 or 3 times per week can also bring a lot of health benefits. Sometimes your body will need a lot of time to rest and repair the muscles, but if you want, a light yoga session in between your running days is always welcome. Walking and cycling are also great exercises for the no-run days because they do not put too much stress on your sore muscles.
Apart from rest days, the best way to rest is to sleep. There is nothing better than a good night’s sleep to improve your mood and energy levels. Make sure to get enough sleep. Adults require 6 – 8 hours per night to remain healthy and energised, so never cut off sleep. Also, good sleep quality is essential. Here are some relaxation tips geared toward seniors.
Improve Your Diet
You probably know that diet has a lot of influence on your athletic performance, as well as your overall health. Eating a lot of fibre and carbs is an excellent choice for a runner because carbs are the primary source of fuel for your body while running.
Opt for healthier carbs like oats, quinoa, brown rice, sweet potatoes, and cut down on the intakes of simple carbs such as white potatoes, white rice, and bread. Eat a lot of fruits and veggies; especially green vegetables are filled with nutrients that you will need to stay healthy. Consider reducing the amount of dairy, and red meat from your diet, because they may cause inflammation in the body and can be detrimental to your health. Do not be scared to include lots of healthy fats in your diet, because it is vital to older people. Avocados, nuts, and nut butter will provide you not only with energy and omega 3s but will give you healthy and shiny skin.
The Caring Blog is all about senior wellness, check out more of our articles!
Blog Contributor: Noah Markin is the editor of RunnerClick. He likes writing and lifting heavy things all day long.