Running for your health seems obvious for most people; there is little to invest in the way of equipment; it can be done alone or in a group and meets a variety of physical fitness levels.
If you are a senior and thinking of adding running to your lifestyle or you are simply interested in the possible health benefits or cautions, please take the time to review some of these tips for senior runners.
ARE YOU IN CONDITION TO RUN?
You are wise to consider running for your health – it has both mental and physical benefits. However, before starting to run you should speak with your doctor about your overall physical condition and whether there are special precautions to be taken.
Brittle bones, lack of agility, loss of balance, weight, and diseases such as diabetes are all conditions that require attention when starting a running routine.
If you have diabetes you may need to invest in special footwear and socks to prevent sores on your feet. If balance, because of age or weight, is an issue you may wish to start slow and stick to areas that are level and less busy than sidewalks or streets.
WHERE WILL YOU RUN?
Are you looking for a company on your run? Or are you more interested in the fresh air and local scenery? There are many options for senior runners and others whether they want to run together or alone.
School and community running tracks are a safe choice for senior runners because of the level and cushioned running surface.
Some communities have groups that plan runs through local parks or even your favorite mall. The mall is a great choice for walks or jogs during inclement weather, particularly early in the day before most shoppers are in the stores. As an added bonus you can fit in a little window shopping as you go!
SHOULD YOU HIRE A TRAINER?
Depending on your experience and physical condition you may well consider a consultation with a trainer at the local gym or community center.
After assessing your mobility and fitness a trainer can recommend a running plan as well as where to find proper running shoes and additional equipment, such as heart rate monitors.
You should also consider getting a transportable radio or music player to take on your runs for distraction as well as one of the most important items for runners: a water bottle.
No matter what your age or fitness level you must stay hydrated, stretch before and after, warm-up and cool down with a minute of walking, take a snack, dress appropriately for the weather and protect yourself from the sun.
Stick to areas you know and avoid hard surfaces such as sidewalks and unstable areas like graveled paths. Proper care and preparation running can relieve stress, enhance physical fitness, and improve your image!