By MC Staff.
How to keep (or start) running after 40.
Running is an impact sport! It impacts hips, knees, ankles, feet. So it pays to be careful, especially when running after 40, to look after our bones.
For women, with potential bone density issues as we age, it’s not always the preferred form of exercise. Certainly some specialists frown on speed and distance running (we’re talking marathons!) past middle age but that doesn’t have to stop us!
A good run, at a reasonable but not excessive pace, that still challenges on distance, can be incredibly motivating, exhilarating and endorphin inducing. And it can be good for maintaining and increasing bone strength if you don’t overdo it. Running regularly is also a great way to keep one’s metabolism in peak condition, meaning one can still eat without worrying too much about weight gain. But if you start running too fast or too much you’re inviting injuries.
Once you’ve got the running bug, it’s hard to let go. It’s great for stress release too.
Here are our top ten tips for being able to continue running after forty, or actually as long as possible.
- Don’t run to excess – know what your body can take – push it yes, but not so far as to damage it
- Slow down and run for the joy of running rather than having to win
- Make sure you do a reasonable warm-up and gentle stretches before you start
- Don’t run every day – give your body a chance to recover – do low impact exercise like yoga or swimming on non-running days instead
- Run on soft surfaces rather than tarmac or pavement when possible
- Get some reasonable shoes – visit a specialist running shop like Run and Become for a gait and foot arch analysis and advice on the best pair of shoes to suit you – but be careful because many shops now offer this service and staff are not always as well trained in doing this as they could be
- Make sure you stretch well after your run when your muscles are warmed up
- Use an app like Nike+ Running to track your runs and motivate you to keep running
- If you like music when you run, put together a great running playlist to keep you on track
- Make sure you stay well-hydrated – apparently we become less aware of needing water as we age!
You can find some excellent short stability and strengthening exercise videos for all levels of runner, to help prevent injury and keep you running for life on the Globe and Mail site.