It may surprise some individuals, but people actually continue to run for fitness and pleasure well into their 60s and beyond. Are they sprinting like Olympians? Likely not. But it can be a highly beneficial and enjoyable pursuit. Not surprisingly, running for the elders is an activity that must be done with some care.
As we grow older, exercise can help keep us strong, fit, and much healthier than those who don’t exercise. But running, in particular, can be tough on your joints and muscles because it is considered high impact. If you don’t keep your body’s needs in mind and adapt your training appropriately, it can lead to injury. This is true for all ages!
Is Running Truly Becoming More Popular for the Elders?
Some may say it simply isn’t safe or healthy for older people to be running. Yet, its popularity has not decreased and has, in truth, increased for people in their 50s, 60s, and beyond. In fact, for New York City Marathon participants, between 1980 and 2009, finishers under the age of 40 decreased while the number of Master runners (runners age 40 and over) increased significantly.
For runners 50 years of age, 60 years of age, and above, for a running program to be effective and enjoyable, there are a collection of things to keep in mind whether they’re a veteran runner or new to the activity.
Everyone has their limits. What you were in your 30s most likely changed or increased, now that you’re in your 60s. Changes occur as we age which can include the following:
- Balance, coordination, and strength decrease
- In number and size, muscle fibers begin to shrink
- A decline begins where cardiovascular endurance is concerned
Naturally, the individual experience of aging depends on various factors such as activity levels, genetics, diet, and lifestyle. You can’t slow down aging with harder running, longer running, or more strenuous exercise. It’s just a fact of life.
Keep in mind the above-stated body changes and how they may limit your running program. Train smarter instead of harder.
More Tips for Runners In Their 60s and Above
Here are many other things to keep in mind and apply to your running program if you’re in your golden years:
- Pay a little more for good running shoes
- Do all you can to prevent injury
- Practice flexibility
- Improve your balance
- Consider the addition of strength training to your routine
- Gradually adjust your goals if you’re just starting out
- Take it easy on yourself and your expectations
- Always make sure you take enough time to allow your body to recover before your next exercise session
Stay Fit and Socialize with Others at Discovery Village At Alliance Town Center!
Through participation in Discovery Village At Alliance Town Centers Dimensions Health and Fitness Program, our residents can boost their emotional, medical, physical, spiritual, intellectual, and social health. We offer everything they need with this signature wellness program. With daily activities calendars and an enclosed swimming pool, residents can enjoy body and mind healing. They’ll always have something therapeutic and entertaining to enjoy with others.