Running is one of the best workouts for improving cardiovascular health, and it is particularly beneficial, especially for the elderly. Jogging around the block or along a favorite trail in our Memory Care community is a great way for you to get in some exercise without having to travel far. While it is necessary for all runners to follow some fundamental safety principles, it is especially crucial for the elderly to adhere to these running safety tips that have been developed specifically for them. For those of you over the age of 60, particularly, our professionals have compiled a running safety checklist for your use.
Start Running Slowly
As you get older, it is even more necessary to perform proper warm-ups. Allow yourself some time to gradually come up to the training tempo for the day’s program before you start. Allow your heart rate to gradually increase and the blood to start pumping to your muscles if you feel like you could walk faster than you’re jogging at first. By gradually ramping up the intensity, you can lessen the likelihood of damage and discomfort felt in the muscles after an exercise. If you plan on doing any interval or hill training, this is even more crucial. Make sure to properly warm up before engaging in these prolonged activities.
Put on the Right Footwear
One of the most important things you can do for yourself is to find a pair of shoes that fits properly and is both comfortable and convenient. This is especially important for elderly people who have health concerns such as diabetes that can have an effect on their feet. You should make sure that the shoes are suitable for the surface that you will be running on. This will alleviate some of the strain on your joints.
Runners often focus only on running, to the detriment of their health, because they genuinely like the activity. On the other hand, the natural atrophy of muscles that comes with advancing age can make elderly people more susceptible to injury. The good news is that including two or three days of strength training in your workout routine can assist in warding off this risk.
Adjust Rest Time
The elderly who push their bodies to the limit during a run have an increased risk of experiencing an injury or becoming ill as a result of their activity. Because of this, it is essential for you to stop periodically throughout longer runs and to give yourself a day of rest in between more strenuous activities. Instead of sitting down suddenly, you should stroll and take some time to cool down between breaks in order to prevent overstressing your heart.
Inform Others of Whereabouts
Many runners prefer to do their workouts alone, but seniors may find that jogging with a companion gives them a greater sense of safety because there will be two people looking out for possible risks. At the very least, you should let a caretaker or a member of the family know when you will be running and the specifics of the route that you will be taking. If you want to receive timely assistance in the event that you have a medical emergency while you are running, carrying a medical identification card or some other form of identification is crucial.