Either you love running or you hate it.
One of my favorite activities is running outside and I have been fortunate to be able to still do so after almost 40 years. I still get that reward-response from it (literally the runner’s high). My family and most friends my age don’t like running. I’m definitely an anomaly among them.
As someone who has had cancer in the past, being active has become a priority for me, reminds me to appreciate life and not take it for granted.
It’s important to stay active for mental and physical reasons as you age, especially in your 5th decade and beyond. Know that it’s actually a critical lifestyle habit you should embrace.
There are multiple benefits of being physically active:
- helps you manage your weight
- reduces your risk for a heart attack
- lowers your blood pressure
- lowers the risk of Type 2 diabetes and some cancers
- strengthens your muscles, bones and joints, which lowers the risk of osteoporosis
- Allows you to feel better overall – helps you sleep better and provide more energy
Running is not a daily ritual for me anymore; but I create balance with other activities such as walking, hiking, lifting light weights, and yoga/stretching everyday. I make time to walk at least 45 minutes outside each day at a minimum. Rain or shine.
I wrote about running again after the last cancer diagnosis and how it allowed me to get back ‘normal.’ And here’s a great article why running is beneficial for older women. This helps me justify to continue participating in an activity that I love, right?
One of my doctors recommended I incorporate swimming too. Swimming is an activity I rarely do even though I live on a lake. Checking out the local YMCA again to use their pool is on my to-do list. I’ve participated in a sprint triathlon before (swim, bike, run) and the part I enjoyed the most was the run at the end. (Told you I was different.)
Another thing I’ve learned as someone over 50, it’s important to strengthen your gluteous medius muscle. We always hear about the gluteous maximus muscle (your glutes, your butt basically) and it deserves a lot of attention; but the medius is also very critical as it helps the hips rotate. If the medius is weak, it can alter your hip, knee and lower-back function. Here are 6 easy exercises that target the gluteous medius muscle.
It’s important to get up and move no matter your age. Do some strength exercises at a minimum and gradually increase any new activity in small steps. There are many options to keep you physically active and my advice is try to keep it fun for you. Don’t let any excuse get in the way.
Let’s make it a habit to be active. What are you interested in?