As we age, our bodies become weaker and more prone to injuries. But age shouldn’t be an obstacle when it comes to doing physical activities such as running.
If you are over 50 and find yourself thinking about taking up running, then you must be wondering how to make this goal possible.
That’s why we are here. In this article, we are providing you with information and helpful tips about how to start running after 50. Continue reading to find out.
- Running after 50 can improve cardiovascular health and blood flow.
- It could help you lower the risk of various diseases and maintain good bone health.
- The risks of running after 50 are potential injuries.
- It is suggested to combine walking with running at the start, and then build up slowly.
- Recommended exercises to add to your routine are cross-training and strength-training.
- You shouldn’t run more than 4 days per week.
- To prevent injury massages and foam rollers are recommended.
Is it okay to run after 50?
Yes, it is totally fine to run after the age of 50. In fact, many people don’t give up running even in older years and there are many who also begin running in this period of life.
This is because running helps maintain good cardiovascular health and stay fit. But as there are various risks, learning how to begin or keep running after 50 is truly important.
Benefits of running after 50
One of the benefits that running after 50 can provide is building endurance and improving blood flow. During running your body is challenged and your heart rate increases so with regular cardio you will improve your blood flow and overall health.
Through good blood circulation, all your vital organs will get enough oxygen and nutrients to function. This means you will also start to feel better in your body among other things.
Having regular physical exercises such as running or something else could add years to your life. This is because running and physical activities help in the prevention of various health diseases.
In general, your overall health will improve. It could also lower the risk of getting cancer, diabetes, and death caused by cardiovascular problems.
In case you want to lose some weight, running will also help you control your weight and improve your metabolism. Running is a good habit to have in your life in order to preserve your health and fitness.
Running also helps with maintaining good bone health. You will be able to have better bone density and strong bones. This is truly important as many fractures and bone problems are common, especially in older people.
Risks of running after 50
Naturally, there are risks when it comes to running after 50. You cannot expect to be able to do the same you have been doing previously, reach the same miles or achieve the same speed.
The risks include different potential injuries such as shin splints, fractures, knee sprains. Because of this it is important to find a balance and always remember to take enough rest days, as much as your body needs. It would also be good if you check with your doctor before starting with a routine.
Running after 50-How to do it?
If you have already talked to your doctor about your health conditions and got the green light then you can begin slowly building a running routine. But first, it is also important to know your abilities and limits.
As you know, when aging, strength, coordination, and muscles all begin to weaken so it is important that you don’t push yourself too hard, but rather begin with small steps.
To get ready to begin your running journey you should know your stride and also the type of running shoes you need. For example, if you overpronate, you need stability running shoes. As it is important to be comfortable on your runs, you should choose well-cushioned, high-quality running shoes.
It could be better to maybe start with walking and then add running to your routine. For example, you could do something like a 5 min walk followed by a minute’s run and so on, switching between walking and running.
As you go on and build endurance you will be able to go more miles than simply running your usual distance. Keep in mind that this should be done gradually and not all at once. This way you can prevent injuries and exhaustion.
Things to consider
Do strength training
An important and recommended thing is to add strength training to your routine. There are many activities you could do at least 1-2 days per week such as: working out with resistance bands; doing sit-ups, lunges, and squats; doing some gentle yoga or stretches, and even gardening.
Strength training is beneficial because your muscles have atrophied over the years and you need to build back strength. This type of training will help you become a better runner, prevent injuries, and help your body become more resistant to be able to manage the running routine.
Another thing you could consider is some cross-training such as cycling or swimming, for example. This will help you slowly build your running and aerobic capacity. Also, you will be less likely to get sick or injured if you follow these tips and build up slowly.
Don’t run more than 4 days per week
You shouldn’t run more than 4 days per week. This is something to pay attention to since you don’t want to start running only to end up worse and with various injuries. Running 3-4 days per week in your 50s will give you time to take proper rest and recover from the pressure.
Remember that to be able to have results and benefits, recovery time is just as important as running. You should listen to your body, take it easy and make sure that you are enjoying both the activity and rest time.
For any runners, but especially older people it is important to have good balance and flexibility. By having good balance you are less likely to fall and to improve it, it is suggested to do some yoga poses or stand on one leg.
When it comes to flexibility, it is normal that our muscles and tendons lose elasticity with time. But to improve flexibility you need to always do warm-ups before running. You could include some dynamic stretches such as arm circles, straight leg kicks, and so on.
Do massages more often
To prevent injury you might also want to do some massages and use a foam roller which prevents the onset of muscle soreness. And if you get injured, make sure to take enough time to recover. Don’t jump back to running before you feel fully ready because that will make things even worse.
There are a lot of benefits that running provides and it is recommended even for people in older age. So don’t worry, if you follow the provided tips on how to start running after 50 and listen to your body you will be able to achieve your goals safely. It is never too late to begin a healthy journey.
It’s been more than 15 years, and I’ve been running 3-4 times a week ever since then. I’ve achieved goals, won marathons, went through injuries and learnt a lot along the way. That’s why, I created Suzlyfe together with my husband (Ken) to share my findings and help others reach their goals. Both me and my husband are avid runners, and it’s a big part of our life.