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Beginner Running Tips for Seniors: It’s Never Too Late to Get Started

couple jogging on path

You have no major health issues and want to keep it that way throughout your 60s, 70s, and even 80s. If this sounds like you, it’s time to start running.

Running is a great way to reduce your body weight and increase muscle tone. The benefits of running even extend to combating stress and improving emotional well-being. While it’s never too late to get started on a running program, you’ll want to consider these seven tips before you begin.

Gear up

Running is an uncomplicated sport that requires very few pieces of gear. The most important running accessory is a pair of good running shoes.

On your search for the perfect pair, you’ll likely get bombarded with reviews about a number of well-known brands. Instead of just choosing a pair of running shoes based on the glowing online testimonials of other people, you’ll want to step inside of a specialty running store to get a custom fitting.

Brands make different running shoe models that work best for specific running styles. The best running stores offer a complimentary gait analysis and fitting assessment that you can use to make a data-backed purchasing decision.

You’ll want to repeat the gait analysis when you replace your shoes after 6 months of use since a consistent running program will change your muscles and may change your gait as well.

Practice the run/walk protocol

It’s easy to develop a competitive streak during a running program, and that’s not a bad thing. However, you’ll want to set a moderate pace for yourself when you first start. Aim for endurance. You can add elements of speed later. Alternate between running and walking to accomplish your distance goals.

Stay hydrated

Aerobic exercises such as running are known to promote perspiration. Sweating is one of the many health benefits of running since it’s part of the body’s natural detoxification functions.

As you sweat, you’ll want to replenish your fluids to make sure that your body is hydrated enough to perform important activities such as digestion, kidney functions, and cognitive tasks. Remember, staying hydrated isn’t just a summer running tip. Winter’s dry air can cause you to lose fluid via your breath even if you don’t break a sweat.

Practice good nutrition

When you were young, you fell for the myth that you can eat anything that you want as long as you exercise away the calories. Today, you know that your body requires high-quality fuel to perform well. In fact, you can do more harm than good by performing intense exercise without building up your body first with nourishing foods.

The oxidation that’s caused by running should be countered by consuming foods that are high in antioxidants such as fresh fruits and vegetables. Macronutrients such as proteins, carbohydrates, and healthy fats are also important components of a senior runner’s diet.

Cross-train and recover

Running is somewhat predictable. If you run consistently, you’ll get faster and be able to run longer distances. To improve your times and reduce your risk of injury, start cross-training. Add in two days of strength training per week. As your muscles get stronger, sprinting across the finish line becomes a lot easier.

A not-so-obvious way to improve your performance and lower your chances of injury is to incorporate days of rest into your running and exercise program. Recovery days facilitate muscle repair and growth.

Stay motivated

Holidays, vacations, and weekend projects can derail the routines of even the most enthusiastic runners. To stay motivated and keep making progress, you’ll want to race with a running buddy or a group of running buddies.

Running with others is a healthy way to socialize with like-minded people and challenge yourself to make steady performance improvements. Running clubs often encourage their members to participate in charity races and marathons that are good for the community and for your well-being.

Track your progress

Keeping track of your progress in a fitness journal is a great way to stay motivated. You can do this with simple notebook entries that document your running times, distances, and weight training. You can also go high-tech with digital fitness trackers that record your pulse rate, sleep quality, and burned calories.

Conclusion

The link between vibrant good health and regular exercise is well-established. New studies have also proven that regular exercise such as running can have dramatic anti-aging effects. Consistency is the key and running in different settings allows you to never get bored enough to quit.

Fitness, recreation, social connection – our Life Plan Community in Monroe Township, NJ has the lifestyle you’ve been looking for. The only way to truly appreciate all we have to offer is to come and experience it for yourself!