I love to run. I run to clear my head, burn calories, strengthen my lower body . . . and it just feels good.
Sure, there are plenty of mornings when I'd rather hit the "snooze" button, or linger over another cup of coffee. But, I'm always glad when I've pushed myself to get up . . . and get out there.
To be on the safe side, though, I've learned to become a 'mindful runner'. I don't "pound the pavement," which could put extra stress on knees and other joints. Being mindful means running gently with scheduled walk breaks. Lots of people run right past me. But, that's okay.
So many people over 50, however, are afraid to run, worried that it might hurt their knees or even cause arthritis. Well, a new study has just come out which will bust that myth.
According to the New York Times which reported on the study:
. . . many of the available, long-term studies of runners show that, as long as knees are healthy to start with, running does not substantially increase the risk of developing arthritis, even if someone jogs into middle age and beyond. An impressively large cross-sectional study of almost 75,000 runners published in July, for instance, found "no evidence that running increases the risk of osteoarthritis, including participation in marathons." The runners in the study, in fact, had less overall risk of developing arthritis than people who were less active.
Just around the time I was turning 50 and trying to come to grips with the changes my body, mind and life were going through-I decided to try running.
I knew I had to do something to get my health, weight and stress level back on track. But I was worried that it would hurt my body more than help it.
Luckily, I learned how to run safely by following a program created by Jeff Galloway, the Olympian and marathoner who developed the Run-Walk-Run plan. It's a good way for people of all ages to get out there and move our bodies.
Take a look at this quick video- Running After 50-which is one of the episodes in "The Best of Everything After 50" web series on the AARP YouTube Channel. And please subscribe to the full series at the end of the video:
I've been running for the last few years, and it's helped me lose-and keep off -15 pounds and improve my overall health and well being. Running may not be for everyone, but if you're thinking about it, check with your doctor . . . and watch the video!
And remember this: We can't control getting older, but, we cancontrol how we do it!
I want to hear from you! Leave your questions and ideas about living your best life after 50 in the comments section below, and share this article and video with your friends.
I'm the National Osteoporosis Foundation 'Ambassador for Bone Health' and a fierce champion of positive aging. For more tips on living your best life after 50 (or 60, or 70...) check out "The Best of Everything After 50: The Experts' Guide to Style, Sex, Health, Money and More" and www.bestofeverythingafter50.com. Keep me posted on how you're doing by subscribing to me on Facebook and "tweeting" me on Twitter at @BGrufferman.
Photo credits: AARP, Best of Everything After 50