Running After 60: How To Keep Your Joints Healthy
No one is too old to aspire for a healthier life and become physically active. Anybody can run as long as they are fit to do so.The health benefits from running when you are 60 years old or more are about the same as for younger people.
These benefits lower your risk of developing diabetes, high blood pressure, coronary diseases and cancer, among others. In addition staying physically active at this age reduces the likelihood of developing anxiety, depression, obesity and other neurodegenerative health problems like Alzheimer’s disease.
But older runners need to be more careful as the risk of injuries increases with age. It is especially important for older runners to focus on their coordination, muscle strength and bone density to prevent falling that may cause bone fractures.
Check With Your Doctor
Before Anything else, anyone at the age of 60 or over should seek a doctor’s advice before they begin any program. They will check for possible health problems like joint problems, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart problems that can possibly become a hindrance to running.
You must be cleared for all of these four health concerns to ensure that you can run safely. If not, doctors can recommend medications for these issues to support your decision for a healthier lifestyle.
After getting your doctor’s approval, it is best to seek the help of a professional for you to get started on an program. Your doctor may recommend you to a personal trainer or a fitness professional to prepare your body for running. Most advice that older runners get are basically the same as everyone else’s – start slow and gradually build up.
Strengthen Your Muscles
If you are a beginner at running, your fitness coach will set you up with muscle strengthening programs. These trainings involve exercises like carrying weights and stretching muscles particularly targeting your hip flexors function. Such exercises help build up your core to endure the impact of running long distances.
Hip flexors are a group of muscles located in your upper thighs and pelvic region. They are partly responsible for driving your knees up while keeping your thighs and pelvis aligned. Hip flexors are important for running, especially for athletes and aging adults. Strengthening these muscles provide stability to your core and prevent injuries in the hips and joints – the two problems common with exercising at an old age.
Get The Proper Nutrition
The lining of your intestines wears down with age, so it does not absorb as efficiently as it used to 40 years ago. Even though you are living an active lifestyle by exercising and running, your body’s need for nutrients did not decrease.
The best way to get the right amount of nutrition is by taking your daily multivitamins. This is vital especially for older adults who are reducing their calorie intake as a natural effect of aging. Make sure that your multivitamins has the recommended B vitamins. As vitamin B is important in boosting cellular growth and immunity.
Probiotics is also a good addition to your diet. Your intestines need the healthy bacteria found in tempeh, miso and yogurt. Restoring your intestines’ healthy flora will build up the mucosal lining of the gut and improve nutrition absorption.
Eat A Joint Friendly Diet
Make sure to eat more anti-inflammatory foods. Select fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, seeds, spices and nuts. These are packed with antioxidants and essential fatty acids that prevent inflammation to support your joints.
Including fish such as salmon, tuna, herring, sardines and mackerel twice a week can also increase your intake of omega-3. If you prefer to skip eating fish, you can take fish oil capsules instead.
Here are other ways to manage your running to keep joints healthy:
- Make sure to avoid over training, especially when you are still beginning to run.
- Low aerobic training is helpful in preventing injuries, so add it to the mix. Some examples include cycling, swimming and aqua-running.
- Make sure to stretch your hip flexors and other muscles before and after training to warm up and improve elasticity.
- Weak muscles come with old age. Make sure to compensate for the declined muscle mass by adding more weight training.
The human body after 60 may feel frail. But with the right preparation, older people can still continue to perform extraordinary athletic feats as long as they take the process one step at a time.