Ad Staying Active when Over 55

This is a featured post which has been commissioned by Mobility Plus

As I stand on the start line of many of my races I always take a look around. I like to get a feel for the race ahead and more often than not you can predict who you will be running with and who will be the front runners. What becomes harder to guess is the age of the runners who are stood around me, in fact it is really tricky.

What I have noticed though, as I look through the results afterwards, is the number of runners in categories V40 and above. In fact I have done races with a gentleman in his 80s who has travelled the world with his running. I was in awe at a Gentleman who for their 70th birthday was planning on running a marathon up Everest which goes to show that age is just a number.

There are many ways to get started with running. Downloading the couch to 5k app is one of them, or joining a local walk to run group is another. However if running doesn’t appeal there are plenty of other ways to stay fit and active. In fact the NHS has the same recommendations for active minutes for a 19 year old as a 64 year old, which goes to show how important exercise and staying active is.

There are two types of exercise that should be incorporated into a weekly exercise routine. These are strength and aerobic exercises. Each of them bring about individual benefits. According to NHS England, strength exercises are necessary for:

all daily movement
to build and maintain strong bones
to regulate blood sugar and blood pressure
to help maintain a healthy weight

Staying active though doesn’t have to mean a constant trip to the gym or a high intensity workout. In fact it can be things such as mowing the grass or working in the garden. Digging and shoveling the garden can be a great way to incorporate strength work. Pushing a lawn mower can raise the heart rate enough to count as moderate exercise.

Everyday activities can therefore count as keeping active without the need to go to the gym. What’s important is that you understand your own body. Understand when to push it a bit more and when to keep it steady. As with any exercise it is important to warm up appropriately, and to get the most benefit a minimum of 20 minutes. Regardless of age always listen to your body and make sure you have fun! 

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