01 September, 2011
Jogging at 60 Years Old
Jogging at the age of 60 can offer some amazing health benefits, but before you get started, you should take some important precautions. If you approach your routine correctly, you can potentially add years to your life, but if you overdo it, you may subject yourself to serious and unnecessary injury.
If you have just turned 60 and already consider yourself a seasoned jogger, you can maintain your routine just as long as you listen to your body and avoid over-exerting yourself. If you start to feel tired, dizzy, dehydrated or just winded, start relaxing your routine. If, however, you have lived a relatively sedentary lifestyle up to this point and are considering a new jogging regimen, consult your physician and undergo a routine physical. A doctor can detect any heart sensitivities, pulmonary issues or general health concerns that might preclude you from jogging or require you to start with a very mild routine.
Jogging in your 60s and beyond can keep your heart strong and prevent your body from wearing down as it tends to do in the autumn years. Jogging can help you to maintain your muscle mass, coordination, balance and stamina in everyday life. Dr. Roy Shephard of Toronto University, analyzed existing data on the health effects of aerobic activity on middle aged people and senior citizens. He concluded that daily aerobic activity such as jogging can turn back the biological clock of seniors by as much as 12 years.
Of course, older people must consider the possible toll that vigorous exercise can have and take the appropriate precautions. For instance, people in their 60s have a reduced proportion of body water, and this can contribute to dehydration during physical activity. As a result, you should always carry cold water when jogging. Second, older persons can experience some sensory loss such as reduced eyesight and balance. If you suffer from any of these issues, jog during daylight when visibility is high and stop if you begin to experience dizziness or fatigue. If you suffer from pulmonary issues like COPD, do not engage in high-intensity jogs, or you may have difficulty breathing.
Developing a Routine
Even if you are already a seasoned jogger, you should still consult a physician as you enter your 60s. Your doctor can help you to determine the safest and most beneficial routine for you. Never push yourself to the limit of your capabilities, but maintain a healthy lifestyle with regular, brisk jogs. If starting a new routine after a prolonged sedentary period, start slow. Jog for just a few minutes a day and gradually increase the duration. Your ideal routine may be far different from that of your 60-year-old neighbor, so jog according to your own abilities and have fun.
- Goodshoot/Goodshoot/Getty Images