EnLIGHTen Your Run: 5 Reasons to Hit the Pavement at 50 and Beyond

By on July 12, 2018
EnLIGHTen Your Run: 5 Reasons to Hit the Pavement at 50 and Beyond

There may be plenty of voices telling you that you shouldn’t be running so strenuously, that advancing age means you must slow down. Maybe they’re telling you horror stories of broken bones and heart attacks. Look at so-and-so, they say. She didn’t stop, and now she needs a knee replacement!”  But rest assured (or don’t!), you can indeed remain a running enthusiast into your 50s and beyond. Running, regardless of intensity, is powerful medicine when it comes to health, and we’ve got 5 reasons why you should get up and get running today!

  1. Running Is A Valuable Aerobic Exercise

Running gets your heart rate up, which burns calories and keeps the body in better physical shape. It can also strengthen the lungs, lower cholesterol levels, and fortify and improve the body’s immune responses. A recent study has even shown that seniors who run several times a week have the same energy levels and “fuel economy” of 20-year-olds. Translation: running keeps you young!

  1. Running Helps With Depression, Anxiety, & Loneliness

Getting out and running is not only great aerobic exercise, but it’s also ideal for a senior’s mental and social health as well. Running releases endorphins, feel-good brain chemicals that help combat depression and anxiety. Running also encourages seniors to get out into the fresh air and reconnect with the world around them, which can help them feel a part of the larger community, meet new people, and ward off loneliness.

  1. Running Decreases Risk of Injury

A popular misconception is that aging bodies are more easily damaged when undertaking intense physical activities like running. Regular running helps strengthen the body and reduce the overall risk of injury. Bone density improves, and the risk of arthritis is dramatically lowered, meaning your body could very well do what you think it may not be able to do.

  1. Increased Balance and Stability

Slips and falls are common among seniors. This is often caused from a lack of hip strength and a loss in overall balance. Running engages the hips, abdominals and numerous other muscles that work together to ensure that a person is able to stay balanced. Walking, jogging, or even regular brisk walking will alleviate slips and falls and help boost stability and balance.

  1. Mental Sharpness is Increased

Just a few days of running leads to the growth of hundreds of thousands of new brain cells in a region that is linked to the formation and recollection of memories. Running or jogging can improve memory and learning, and potentially slow down the deterioration of mental ability that happens with old age.

Starting or maintaining a regular exercise routine can be a challenge at any age—and it doesn’t get any easier as you get older. Start slow, set goals and stay safe! Consider purchasing a pair of Runlites, wearable lights that let cars and other pedestrians know where you are—it also helps you to see better too (those sidewalks always seem to come out of nowhere!) Stick to roads and neighborhoods you know, ditch the headphones to stay focused and ALWAYS run against traffic. Keep your I.D. on you and let a friend or family member know you are heading out, or better yet, invite them along! A healthier, longer life is waiting for you!

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EnLIGHTen Your Run: 5 Reasons to Hit the Pavement at 50 and Beyond