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Too old for the couch to 5k challenge? Not likely!

Anyone of any age can participate in an organised 5k, 10k or Park run as there is no age limit when it comes to keeping fit or exercising. 

Whether you’re 50, 60, 70, 80+ or somewhere in between, age should never be the reason not to participate!

Organised runs usually have different categories for participants of different fitness levels, so you should be able to find like-minded individuals of a similar age who will be running at a pace that is manageable for you.

Before you embark on your fitness journey it is a good idea to be sensible, listen to your body and take into consideration any existing health conditions.

Things to consider

  • If you have any on-going health concerns then it is sensible to discuss your exercise ideas and how you’re aiming to achieve your running goals with your GP or practice nurse first
  • Planning is key – work out your route, make sure you have comfortable clothes to wear for running and in particular the right kind of footwear. It may be worth visiting a sports or specialist running shop where they will be able to advise on the correct shoes for you.  It is especially important to minimise the impact of running on your lower limbs and this can only be achieved with the correct pair of running trainers
  • Mental preparation – get yourself into the right frame of mind and you will be able to achieve much more than you realise

How to start

  • If you have never run before then start by exercising regularly and then gradually introduce running into your routine
  • Try jogging or walking briskly for a few minutes, then switch to walking at a normal pace, then slow running, and keep repeating for a period of time that is comfortable
  • Gradually increase the period of time and distance you are running and reduce the periods of walking in between. Do this over a few sessions a week
  • Keep good posture – try and keep your head up high, back straight, shoulders back and your arms swinging to help you balance
  • Keep hydrated throughout and after exercising
  • Remember to always warm up before you exercise and warm down when you have finished as this will reduce the risk of muscle cramps
  • Bathing after exercise can also help reduce aches and pains
  • Running in green spaces will increase your feeling of general wellbeing
  • More than anything else try and enjoy your exercise regime as the more you enjoy it the more you’re likely to stick at it.

Take a look at our article keen to start running for more tips on how to begin.

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AXA PPP healthcare

The more you know about your body and how you can look after it, the healthier you are – and the stronger and bolder you become. That’s why we never stop looking for ways to support your health. We want to give you the tools and knowledge you need to take care of yourself – so you’re ready to face whatever the world brings.

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