If you are newly retired, it is the ideal time to start a health and fitness plan. A study by Humboldt State University found that seniors who run three times a week for 30 minutes, were far less likely to have mobility problems, than those that spent 30 minutes walking instead. If you run regularly, you will be improving your overall fitness levels and toning your body. Age isn’t a barrier, just think of Gloria Lau, who at the age of 67, ran the World Marathon, a total of 183 miles. Running is for everyone, no matter how old you are.
Speak to a professional before you start
If you are over the age of 60, it is important that you speak to a medical professional before undertaking any program of exercise. They will be able to give you a complete check-up and also be able to advise you if you have any restrictions on the amount of exercise you do. It is a good idea to see a podiatrist, who can help you with footwear, as not all off-the-shelf running shoes will suit everyone.
What do I need to buy?
One of the most wonderful things about running is that you don’t need to invest in a lot of equipment. It is a very inexpensive fitness hobby that will help you to keep in shape in your golden years. It doesn’t involve paying for a gym membership, or paying for specialist machines. You will just need a good pair of running shoes and for women, a decent sports bra. When you are starting out, you don’t need to buy any special clothing, just something cool and comfortable. Sweatpants and a t-shirt is fine, just as long as you are warm enough.
Using an app
Many people find that a “Couch to 5K” style interval running app on your smartphone can be very helpful for beginners. When you first start out you will only be running a minute at a time, alternating with walking. You can have helpful guidance and motivating comments when you are running. You can also use an app to chart your improvement as you get fitter and set yourself attainable goals for the future. There are 5K running events for seniors in most main towns and cities, and you can even enter for a 5K event in the National Senior Games. You can also check out the JustRaceLah! app to record your progress and keep track of any races that you have taken part in. It’s totally free and available for both iOS and Android.
Join a running group
A running group can not only be enormous motivation, but also a great way to make friends. If you are on your own, being part of a group can also give you security and a feeling of safety when you are out. Overseen by a professional running coach, you will be able to get the help and support you need. They can advise you of local routes to run and the best places in the area to buy your running gear from. Having a regular group time for exercise every week is particularly beneficial if you like routine. Running will quickly become a positive habit that you can stick with.
As you move into retirement, it is the perfect time to start running. It is good for your health, will improve your mobility and give you a wonderful sense of wellbeing.