Running is Not Just for the Young

marathon-508394_640Although it is rare for someone to pick up competitive running in their sixties or later, Freedom Home Care has seen it happen as well as the benefits that come along with it.  Even if you are a very athletic person, you may be joining the rest of us average people who start to see a change in our skills and activity level between ages 30 to 40.  That is due to the unavoidable decline in muscular strength, endurance, and higher risk of injury. Not to mention, as we get older our injuries tend to keep us out of commission much longer than it would have in our earlier decades.
When we reach sixty, that is the point where our bodies take a steep decline into “retirement”.  Only about a third of Americans over the age of 65 are still considered to be physically active. However, there are several seniors still giving younger general marathoners a run for their money.  Reports of several seniors in upper decade age ranges still hitting the pavement in competitions filled with runners half their age. Recently, a man named Fauja Singh completed his last marathon run in Hong Kong at the age of 101.
Some seniors reported not being very athletic until after that decline period.  We call runners over the age of 40 “masters” and that age group now comprises over 50 percent of the male finishers and 40 percent of the female finishers in races.  And their times are very competitive!
It is no secret that staying physically active is key to having a longer, healthier life.  You can battle against the physical decline by continuing to stay as active as possible.  If you want to age faster, then the best thing to do is have a sedentary lifestyle.
Don’t feel like you need to take up marathon competitive style running to be healthy in your senior years.  Any regular exercise can keep you healthy and slow down the aging process.  It keeps our muscles from breaking down too quickly.  When we lose muscle mass, we become increasingly unstable and that leads to more falls and injuries.  The fear of becoming injured due to age can be significantly reduced if you use exercise to maintain that muscle strength.  It also helps strengthen our bone density and studies have also shown that regular exercise keeps the mind healthy as well as the body.
Check with your physician before starting any new exercise regimen.  As always, please contact Freedom Home Care and let us assist you with your physical activity goals as well as any services you or your loved one may need.