Running is a great way for keeping your body fit and healthy no matter what age you are. It is one of the simplest exercises, not requiring any particular equipment, and can improve both physical and mental health. This is especially important for older adults who are more susceptible to age-related conditions such as cardiovascular disease. However, before you decide to incorporate running into your daily routine, here are 5 running tips to help you work up to starting your first mile:
Be Aware of Your Body’s Limits
Before engaging in any physically-demanding exercises, you should always first consult your doctor. Your doctor will be able to assess your body’s condition and whether heavy physical exertion will exacerbate existing problems.
Once you get that cleared, the next thing to do is to decide if you want to join a running program for beginners. These can help individuals who are just starting to run better pace themselves instead of encouraging them to run excessively, which may lead to serious injury.
Stretching is an essential preparation before any exercise, especially for running which can be stressful for your leg muscles. Proper stretching can significantly reduce your chances of injury, and provide you some time to prepare for your run mentally. Stretch the muscles on your leg and back well.
After your run, do some post-run stretches as well to cool down and reduce the risk of soreness the next day.
Know When To Rest
The more we age, the more time we should give ourselves to rest. It is not recommended to jump straight into a daily running routine if you are a beginner, because your body likely needs the time to adjust to the regular exercise and recover in between runs. Adequate rest is crucial to help repair your muscles. This is best done by sleeping; roughly 6-8 hours a night is needed to maintain a healthy body.
However, if you want to remain active on “rest days”, you can supplement your exercise routine with some yoga sessions which can help loosen the stiffness of joints and increase flexibility, all great improvements that will aid with running.
Gradually Build Up Endurance
Running long distances relies heavily on your stamina. You cannot expect your body to immediately adapt to an increase in physical exertion. Therefore, try not to be overly ambitious when you are starting out; even running 10 minutes a day is good enough. Eventually, you will build up endurance and be able to run for longer periods.
Have a Better Diet
Not only can your diet have a great influence on your health in general, but it can also impact your ability to perform athletically. If your current diet is low in carbs, plan for an increase in these during meal preparations because they are the main source of fuel for your body when you are running.
Fruits and vegetables also provide crucial fiber and nutrients that you require to stay healthy. On the other hand, reduce the amount of red meat and dairy you consume as they may cause inflammation in your body. Finally, remember to drink lots of water to rehydrate yourself. Water is especially important after a run, although it is also recommended that you drink adequately throughout the day.