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Although our bodies naturally become less flexible as we age, it doesn’t mean physical activity has to come to a halt! Exercise is an essential part of any healthy lifestyle and doing the run/walk method is a great way for seniors to stay active and fit. Run/walking can be enjoyable, provide numerous health benefits, and help you maintain your independence as you age.
Before you begin, it is important to consult with your doctor and build a personalized plan that considers any underlying health concerns.
Here are some tips for getting started on your journey to being healthy in your golden years:
- Start small and slow – Running doesn’t mean you have to run a marathon! Start by walking for 10-15 minutes at a comfortable pace. After you become acclimated, you may want to try running for five seconds and walking for 30 seconds. Then, try ten seconds of running and thirty seconds of walking. Enjoy the moment as you move your body and know that this will help you feel young again.
- Invest in the right gear – Make sure you have good running shoes and other appropriate gear such as sweat-wicking clothes and a hat to protect your face from sun exposure.
- Don’t forget to apply sunscreen. According to the Center for Disease Control, most skin cancer cases are diagnosed in people over the age of 65. Melanoma, diagnosed among adults ages 65 – 74 and is the deadliest of skin cancers. So don’t forget to apply sunscreen if you decide to run/walk outside!
- Incorporate rest days – Running every day is not necessary or recommended for seniors, so make sure to give yourself time off between runs for recovery. Jeff Galloway, Olympian, Author and Running Coach recommends run/walking three days a week.
- Make it social – Run/walking can be a great way to reconnect with friends and family! Invite your loved ones to join you for part of your run or for a post-run cup of coffee. There is a local Long Island run/walk group for people over the age of 50 called WeREndurance. If you are interested, contact Hilary Topper, RRCA Running Coach, at email@example.com.
Following these tips will help you make the most out of running in your golden years, while also ensuring that you stay safe and healthy. With the right approach and a positive attitude, running can be an enjoyable and fulfilling experience!
For more tips on staying active, read our blog post National Senior Fitness Day 2023.