The physical and mental benefits of running can be far reaching and, can be enjoyed by people of all ages.
While running is a high impact sport, it can be carefully controlled and regulated to ensure that you’re being kind to your body and going at the pace that suits you best.
In fact, there’s some evidence to suggest that age can actually be an advantage when it comes to running, as wisdom and experience can help to enhance your training routine.
The road to running
If you’ve never tried running as a sport before, you have a lot to look forward to. And don’t assume that your age will automatically mean you’re likely to suffer from many injuries or that your abilities will decline year on year. By starting slowly, you’re likely to be able to build your endurance and speed as well as enjoy all of the benefits of running. You’ll find a great guide to building up your fitness and easing yourself into the world of running as an older person from sports publication Running for Fitness. Women’s Running also has a very informative article about the ways that running can become even better with age and how to improve without straining your body.
It’s a good idea to book a check up with your doctor before beginning any new training routine as this can alert you to any health issues you might want to look out for. Once you have the all clear, begin with a relatively gentle routine that you can increase with time. Be sure to warm up indoors before your run and include stretching exercises to help you prepare your muscles. Runner’s World has an interesting article about the type of stretches that benefit older runners. Then, you want to concentrate on building up stamina by started with a very short run – maybe 10 minutes or so – then gradually increasing your staying power over time. A professional trainer can help you make sure you’re going at the right pace.
Hitting the pavement
There are many ways that running can boost your general health and wellbeing. It’s also an excellent inexpensive way to keep fit and can be a great way to either enjoy some time alone or join a running group.
One good way of putting your running skills to good use is to sign up for occasional half or even full marathons. These can provide a focus for training and are good for meeting new friends and seeing new courses. Marathon Runners Diary has a useful list of all of the different marathons taking place in the UK so you can easily find out if there is a suitable one near you. Lots of runners also use a marathon as a way to raise money or awareness for a charity that is important to them, so you can help others as well as improve your fitness levels.
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