Posted on Aug 08, 2019, 1 p.m.
Older people generally do less physical activity than younger people, but people should not stop exercising because of their age as exercise helps to fight the challenges of aging, and older people who jog frequently are less likely to be sick.
Running/jogging is an aerobic exercise that gets the lungs and heart pumping which is fantastic for cardiovascular health as they relax blood vessels which in turn helps to keep the blood vessels elastic and prevents high blood pressure which increases risk of heart and stroke. These exercises are also beneficial for the brain, improving blood flow to the brain to help maintain proper functioning of blood vessels and preserves cognition.
Older populations are encouraged to run/jog for improved bone health as bones become weaker with age and these exercises help to maintain and/or improve bone mineral density and helps to build bones as force is put on them which stimulates new cell growth. Running/jogging for at least 1-2 minutes a day has been linked with better bone health in pre and post menopausal women.
At any age running/jogging assists with weight, improves muscle strength, boosts energy, builds endurance, enhances sleep, and improves self-esteem. Those who engage in these exercises may also experience decreased body fat, blood sugar, stress levels, cholesterol levels, and risk for depression, as well as possibly living longer.
There are some things to take into account before you start to run/jog such as not to compare yourself to a younger version of yourself as you will not be able to perform at the same level, so you will need to adjust your goals. Make sure you start slowly to get the body working before you crank up your heart rate, and ensure that you recover properly after the workout by taking a day off from running and trying another activity such as swimming before another run. Make sure to stretch before and after the run/jog, this will help to improve balance, flexibility, reduce risk of fall, and reduce the risk of injury. Including some resistance/strength training exercises can help to improve your performance and reduce risk of injury by increasing muscle strength to help muscles absorb more impact while running/jogging to ease joint stress.
Running/jogging may not be suitable for everyone, this may be especially true for those with osteoarthritis as it may worsen joint pains. Those with untreated lung/heart problems should be cautious as running/jogging may put stress on those organs. It is recommended to seek advice from your doctor before starting any exercise program to help make a plan best suited to you.
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This article is not intended to provide medical diagnosis, advice, treatment, or endorsement.