Heart Health as you get older

We write this article as part of the Baker Heart and Health institute.

My Dad says that “you are too old to go running!” I say “no, I can never be too old”. And actually Run to the Finish writes about running and exercise in old Age. Runners World also talks about people doing marathons in their old age.

So I wondered how I can convince the older generation to take up running as a sport. My Dad says that “running is such a high impact exercise” and he worries that when I get older I would get knee problems. I see a lot of the older guys out on the marathon race and some of them at my gym. Lately I saw a lot of older guys out on my running trails, running really hard.

The benefits of this are:

  • reduced rate of heart disease
  • reduced rate of diabetes and a stroke.
  • keeps us happy and productive
  • decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • we can live longer lives as we are not so sedentary.

So how do you change the focus?

One of the things that the American College of Sports Medicine recommends is mixing up the exercises a bit and doing some cross training such as yoga and pilates. And we just have to eat better which is 70-100 g of protein. Also Fitness Australia recommends that older people do some exercise each day.

So go on and get that run in and don’t worry about what others say! So long as you’re eating enough and doing some strength work, that’s all that matters. And if you are new to running it would be a good idea to get a personal trainer that specialises in running. You can find them on the Fitness Australia website. Or you can visit the gyms when they reopen

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