As I was running today I was mulling the changes I’ve made to the way I run in the last few months. I’ll be 40 this year, and it seems I can’t run like I did when I was 30. It’s only been 10 years, but as they say, it’s not the years it’s the mileage. Or something. Anyway, here are the things I’ve done to be kinder to my body as I get older:
- Longer warm-up and cool-down. I used to start off by walking for about a half a block before I’d break into a jog, same thing coming back – about a half a block to cool down. Maybe a minute and a half of warm up and cool down, if that! Now I walk way longer before I speed it up – 5 minutes at the very least, sometimes 10 minutes just to make sure my blood is moving and my muscles are ready, same thing on the way back in.
- Rest more thoroughly. If something feels achy or off, I will just take a rest day. I used to go ahead and try to run through it, and usually that was fine. Not anymore. Healing takes longer now.
- Change out my running shoes more often. That padding breaks down you know.
- More forgiving surfaces. Not something I’d ever considered until recently – now instead of always running on pavement I seek out routes that incorporate trails with asphalt, dirt, and grass to provide less impact to my joints whenever possible.
That’s what I can think of tonight. How are you being kinder to your body as you age?