All sports and fitness professionals agree that it is never too late to start exercising, whether you are 20, 40 or 60 years old.
Although the type of physical exercise will always depend on the person’s tastes, the ideal would be to have space for both strength training and cardiovascular training, such as running.
In this article we want to give you three tips if you want to do the latter, running, if you are already over 50.
It is usual that in these cases we are encouraged with the new activity that we are going to develop, we buy a complete equipment and we throw ourselves to run to the street day in and day out. The desire and attitude are excellent but we must remember that it is a type of physical effort to which our body is not adapted and therefore we must give it margin both to assimilate the new stimuli and to recover from them.
Start with two or three days per week with rest days in between. Your goal, according to the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association, is to reach a minimum of five days a week of moderate aerobic exercise of 30 minutes duration or a minimum of three days of vigorous aerobic exercise of 20 minutes duration.
This recommendation makes sense when the person is already adapted to these efforts, not when he or she has not yet been exposed to them. Therefore, take it as a goal to be reached little by little and, if necessary, surpass it.
If you can’t run for too long in a row, do interval training.
This is a piece of advice that we could well recommend to anyone who has never run before and is not yet able to maintain a continuous running pace for more than 10 to 15 minutes.
The alternative, which has already been studied and is beneficial, is to alternate intervals of slow and fast walking at 40% and 70% (or more) of maximum heart rate respectively.
The system used in the study consisted of repeating five or more sets, for three minutes each, four or more days a week.
Don’t forget strength training to prevent injury
You may say: “but what I want to do is run, not do weights”. We will tell you that this recommendation would be the same for any athlete of any age since strength training should be the basis of any sport. We understand strength training as any activity that requires muscle contraction to overcome resistance. This includes working with specialized machines as well as using barbells, discs, dumbbells, kettlebells, resistance bands or even our own body weight.
It is important because it will not only ensure a good performance, in this case in running, but will help us prevent injuries and fight against osteoporosis, which lurks at this age. Stronger muscles mean stronger tendons and therefore fuller, more compact and functional joints.
Two full body workouts a week is more than enough to get you started. In the long run it is your guarantee to be able to accumulate many kilometers running.