Are you thinking about taking up running, but you are not sure how to begin and whether you should begin at all? First of all, you are never too old to start running. Age is more of a matter of how you feel and not just a number, so don’t be afraid to take up running, even if you are 70 years old, as long as your physician doesn’t object to it due to a health issue. Running will help you become healthier and more fit, so do not give up on the idea of getting started.
Here are five easy steps to do it:
- Allow yourself sufficient rest. The older we get, the slower the metabolism of our body gets, which means that it takes longer time for the body to regenerate and renew its cells. This means that you should allow your body to recover properly after each running or training session (hint: a good massage will speed up your recovery). Training after long rest should begin slowly and gradually intensify in order to allow for the body to adapt to the exercise.
- Increase your stamina. When you first start running you can combine walking and running and switch in between them. For beginners, a mix of two parts running to one part walking is a perfect way to become runners and get their bodies stronger and more suited for actual running. Although you shouldn’t run or train to exhaustion, you should try doing regular endurance running or training, which leads to the decrease of cholesterol, high blood pressure and decreased the risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Do strength and flexibility training. As we age, the strength and flexibility of our muscles decrease. By training the flexibility and strength of your muscles you can slow down this process and even reverse it 100 percent. Regular strength and flexibility training—including running ABC drills—will help this process.
- Train to make your bones stronger. Regular running, as well as pushing and pulling or other static exercises will help fight bone mass loss as well as osteoporosis. With regular exercises, your bone mineral density will increase as your bones get stronger.
- Eat a healthy and balanced diet. As mentioned earlier in this article, with age, the metabolism slows down and so does the basal metabolic rate. This means that your body needs fewer calories to function. This is why many people, especially those who do little or no exercising, tend to gain weight as they age. It is important that you eat a well-balanced, healthy diet, and reduce the caloric consumption if you want to lose that extra weight. Of course, once you start running or exercising regularly, you will start to burn more calories, so make sure you ask your nutritionist or trainer to help you plan the best diet to meet your needs and keep you fit and healthy.
Remember to always listen to your body and let it rest sufficiently after a run. It is normal to experience some soreness and aches in your muscles. A sharper pain could mean that you have suffered an injury and should abstain from running before seeing a doctor for it. If your feet hurt, but the pain is not so sharp, it may indicate that you are wearing the wrong sneakers. Make sure to get the most appropriate footwear for your foot type and gait to reduce the risk of injuries.
Also, even though you may be eager to improve your performance as a new runner, make sure you do not overdo it. You do want to get fit and run faster and for longer, but at the same time you want to stay away from injuries which can often occur due to overtraining. The recommended mileage increase for your running is no more than 10 percent per week, so that you stay healthy and away from running-related injuries.
So, get those running shoes on and let’s start running today!
Cara is a coffee lover, running addict, and is all about healthy food. She writes about sports gear, and other sports related topics for Comforthacks and Fitaholic Gear When she is not running or writing about it, she enjoys enjoys spending quality time with her family.