Many of the clients at our Toronto physiotherapy and chiropractic clinics are over 50, and they come to us to keep enjoying an active lifestyle. Running is a wonderful way to stay fit, and the good news is that it can benefit you no matter what age you begin.
Many people assume they should cut back on vigorous exercise and activities as they get older, because the risk of injury becomes greater. There's no denying that the time it takes to heal increases as we get older, and the body's ability to generate new tissues and repair itself is weakened.
The benefits of exercise – either staying active, or just beginning – over 50 are many. The stats tell us that increased activity adds years to your life.
- Your body will build up endurance, and you'll be running longer as you keep it up;
- Running increases your heart rate, and improves blood flow;
- More oxygen is delivered to your vital organs;
- It can help you control the weight gain that naturally occurs after age 50.
Running may also help you:
- Lower the odds of getting some cancers, and diabetes;
- Improve cholesterol levels;
- Improve mood and help alleviate depression;
- Increase/maintain bone density.
What age affects
Age affects certain functionality of the musculoskeletal system. This includes:
- Reduced endurance;
- Reduced flexibility and bounce;
- Joints have at least some level of wear and tear; among others.
Before you start a brand new, or jump back into an old, exercise regimen, consult your Toronto physiotherapist, sports medicine specialist or chiropractor to determine what kind of routine would suit your condition.
If you're just starting...
In general, when you’re older, patience is your friend.
- Don't be discouraged if your initial output seems low — the CDC recommends a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate activity per week;
- If you're running, you can cut that in half — that's just 15 minutes, five times a week.
The most important piece of advice comes before you start: remember to take it slow.
- Even if you've run before, take the time to start slow;
- Listen to your body and take note of unusual aches and pains;
- If you've overtaxed yourself, take the time you need to heal before jumping back into a regimen.
Pro Tip: Alternate walking and jogging to start out, giving your body a longer interval to adjust in between.
Tracking your progress should help you get over those frustrating times when it seems your body won't push through to the next level. Above all, you have to be more patient when it comes to getting results.
- Find a comfortable running rhythm, and work within it;
- Be especially mindful of shoes that suit the terrain and season;
- Take more rest days — make that a general rule.
It’s essential to eat properly to fuel your new training regimen. One of our Toronto Registered Sports Dietitians can advise you on what to eat to maximize the benefits.
Training of various kinds can boost your results from running.
- Strength training can help you reach your running goals.
- Yoga can help you maintain and even increase flexibility, which can improve balance and help prevent injury.
- Regular massages by a Toronto massage therapist can also help you maintain your regimen.
Our Toronto physiotherapy and chiropractic clinics are ready to help with advice and consultation on any matters related to exercise and your musculoskeletal health. Contact one of our clinics for an appointment today.
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