6 Tips for Running in Your Fifties

Though it might feel like a steeper hill to climb, running in your fifties is definitely possible. Maintaining a regular running program doesn’t have to be a casualty of age! In fact, running can be quite a boon to your well-being as you age.

Yet, running in your fifties brings with it different considerations than, say, running in your twenties. Certain aspects of the program that you used to take for granted can now be the difference between a healthy routine and injury, chronic pain, and slow progress. Here are six tips to do it right:

1. Listen to Your Doctor
Start at the doctor’s office. The doctor will make recommendations about whether you are fit and healthy enough to run at all (and at what intensity). This information will help you design the right program for your age and fitness level.

2. Prioritize Recovery
Turning fifty doesn’t mean you can’t run anymore, but it might mean that recovery times might increase. At the age of fifty, perhaps more than ever in your past, recovery time will become terribly important. Make sure to leave enough time for sleep and take adequate rest days between runs. Work on proper diet and sleep to maximize recovery.

3. Tap into Flexibility, Stabilizers, and Balance
Running in and of itself asks a lot of our core strength, flexibility, and balance. Running in your fifties asks a bit more. Still, focusing on these areas can create a base that allows you to run longer and safer while limiting pain and injury.

4. Play the Long Game
As we age, it takes longer to make improvements and reach new heights in our running programs. It’s important to resist the temptation to overdo it, as injuries from overuse or overexertion also take longer to recover from in our fifties and beyond. The more in tune we are with our adjusted timelines, the longer we’ll be able to sustain a healthy program over time.

5. Consider Group Training
Running with other peers in your age group is a great way to calibrate your routine and stay within yourself. There are plenty of fifty-plus running groups in most cities. Take the leap and see how nice it is to run each week with people who share in and understand what it means to run in your fifties.

6. Say Goodbye to Younger You, Embrace the New You
Our final tip is all about outlook. Yes, it is true that we might lose some ability, conditioning, and capacity as we age. And it can be difficult to come to terms with what we feel like we’re capable of in our minds and what our bodies can actually do. Still, the sooner you embrace the “new you,” the quicker you’ll be able to adapt the right habits and approaches that make running in your fifties better than ever.

5 Workouts for People With Fall Risk

Fall risk is inherent to certain activities no matter who you are. Yet, some conditions increase fall risk during certain types of movement and exercise. One in four Americans aged sixty five or older, for example, falls each year. Other conditions, such as obesity, diabetes, and neurological disorders, can contribute to increased fall risk as well.

This doesn’t exclude people with higher fall risks from exercise! Here are five workouts that reduce or eliminate balance and coordination issues, perfect for people with higher fall risk.

1. Seated Leg Lifts

From a sitting position on the floor, back to a wall and legs straight out, lift and hold your leg a couple inches from the ground. After ten to fifteen seconds, release and repeat with the other leg. You can also sit in a chair, instead, back straight, and lift leg until it is parallel to the floor. Alternate after ten to fifteen seconds. Keep the core engaged.

2. Sitting Shoulder Press

Sitting upright in a chair, or on a bench, keeping good posture, point elbows out and slowly push arms upward to the sky until fully extended. Slowly release back down to beginning position. Focus on slow, deliberate movements, always keeping the core engaged. Use three, five, or ten-pound hand weights to increase resistance.

3. Elliptical

In situations where a traditional treadmill is too risky, the elliptical machine can be a safer, more stable alternative. Start light and slow, keeping body-weight impact minimal. Always hold on to the handles for safety, and increase workout time incrementally as you progress.

4. Pool Work

Another way to decrease body-weight impact during exercise is to hop into the pool. Swimming and water aerobics are one of the best total-body workouts that carry little fall risk. Most gyms offer group pool workout classes that can be dynamic and engaging. Good for the heart, too.

5. AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill™

Perhaps the safest way to control fall risk is training with the Anti-Gravity Treadmill. Under the supervision of a trained physical therapist, patients and athletes can reduce body-weight impact in 1% increments. Thanks to a sturdy harness, participants can walk or run unrestricted by fear of falling or pain and make adjustments to their gait on the fly.

This is just a small sampling of the many exercises suitable for people with higher fall risk. Have fun and mix it up to keep things interesting. Explore different muscle groups and systems to target, both upper and lower body. The main thing is to keep moving in safe and rewarding ways.

A Closer Look at Gait Assessment with AlterG Stride Smart Technology

To deliver the best patient care, clinicians need to stay up to date with the technology revolutionizing physical therapy. In our previous post, we took a look at Differential Air Pressure (DAP), the patented technology on which the AlterG® Anti-Gravity Treadmill™ is based. Continue reading “A Closer Look at Gait Assessment with AlterG Stride Smart Technology”

Evidence-Based Physical Therapy – What You Need to Know

 

In physical therapy, accuracy, and consistency are of the utmost importance. To be effective, therapists tailor each PT program to the needs of a given patient. Those needs, of course, vary widely. Still, most situations that require PT can be grouped into existing categories with corresponding PT programs. And one of the key ways that many of today’s practices are ensuring consistency and efficacy is by basing therapy on authoritative information. Continue reading “Evidence-Based Physical Therapy – What You Need to Know”

Do Active Seniors Need A Personal Trainer Or Physical Therapist?

 

 

It’s important to maintain exercise, especially as you age. As physical therapists, you may be seeing more active seniors looking to stay fit after injuries or orthopedic surgery.

But active seniors who are keen on keeping their bodies fit may be signing up for gym classes or doing routines that are no longer safe. Think of all those Zumba classes or senior weight training classes. Who knows if the instructors are aware of their medical conditions and past injuries.

This can lead to serious injury. Continue reading “Do Active Seniors Need A Personal Trainer Or Physical Therapist?”

An Introduction to Stroke Rehabilitation

On average, someone has a stroke every 40 seconds in the United States. It’s the third leading cause of long-term disability, and the path to rehabilitation can be an arduous one. Question is, when a stroke hits home, what happens next? Continue reading “An Introduction to Stroke Rehabilitation”

Training Seniors Using Unweighting

There’s a harsh reality that we all face as human beings: the older we get, the less capable we are of doing the things we used to do with ease. A walk up the hill can leave us winded, it takes us longer to recover, and exercise brings with it an increased risk of injury.

Gone are the days when mobility and stability were taken for granted.

But it doesn’t have to be this way! Many of these challenges have less to do with old age and more to do with the physical inactivity that often accompanies old age. Exercise, though, can be one of the keys to healthy living for seniors. That’s because a regular exercise regimen can lead to improvements in cardiovascular health and blood pressure, bone strength and weight control. Other benefits include improved sleep cycles, better mental health, and better balance overall.

Still, many senior citizens find the prospect of regular exercise daunting. For this, we call on our good friend unweighting. Read on to learn how unweighting technology can help bridge the gap between seniors and regular exercise. Continue reading “Training Seniors Using Unweighting”

Do Active Seniors Need a Personal Trainer or Physical Therapist?

It’s important to maintain exercise, especially as you age. As physical therapists, you may be seeing more active seniors looking to stay fit after injuries or orthopedic surgery.

But active seniors who are keen on keeping their bodies fit may be signing up for gym classes or doing routines that are no longer safe. Think of all those Zumba classes or senior weight training classes. Who knows if the instructors are aware of their medical conditions and past injuries. Continue reading “Do Active Seniors Need a Personal Trainer or Physical Therapist?”

Age, Obesity, And Arthritis: How To Help Patients Overcome All 3

Remember when normal wear and tear was the main culprit for knee osteoarthritis?

With a growing obesity epidemic, joint degradation—and pain—often come from excessive weight, according to a September 2010 study in research journal Current Opinion in Rheumatology. This is particularly true in 40- to 60-year-old age group of men and women.

The trifecta of age, obesity, and osteoarthritis is actually now a triple threat, which can rack your patients’ lives with chronic pain and make your job doubly hard. Continue reading “Age, Obesity, And Arthritis: How To Help Patients Overcome All 3”

Hospital Associated Deconditioning: Resistance Isn’t Futile!

It’s a well-worn story: grandma or grandpa has a fall or perhaps comes down with the flu, and this acute incident leads to a “quick” hospital stay. What begins as a seemingly minor mishap, however, can quickly snowball into a nightmarish scenario of major functional decline as a result of hospital-associated deconditioning, or HAD.  Continue reading “Hospital Associated Deconditioning: Resistance Isn’t Futile!”