Age can be like a monster breathing down the neck of the middle aged, an inescapable occurrence. For people who have hit middle age, things can begin to change as activities that used to be easy become difficult. Muscles get tighter, metabolism changes, and the body can become weaker. Maintaining fitness is one of the things that can be more difficult the older one gets. For most, it is not impossible but only requires determination and hard work.
Running is a form of exercise with many health benefits. Fitness instructor, Brendan Tuck is well aware of how running helps the body function.
“The benefits of running are: released endorphins, reduced anxiety, reduced stress, improved self-esteem, improved body composition, increased confidence, better sleep and improved cognitive function.”
Despite these benefits, running is an exercise that becomes more difficult the older one gets. It can seem like an impossible goal as age weakness the body, however, it can be an exercise with great reward.
Mark, at the age of 52 was able to complete something that most people half his age wouldn’t even attempt. This achievement was of great satisfaction to Mark and made him feel like he was still capable of great things despite it being more difficult due to his age. Although Mark was able to active this goal, Brendan is aware that it isn’t possible for everyone.
“A marathon, 42km, is a considerable distance for a human being to run. Running long distances places large amounts of stress on ligaments, tendons, joints, myofascia and the muscle.”
“…a middle-aged / older person who runs, seeing other people of the same demographic who are unable to run, will make that person feel confident in their physical ability and health.”
As fitness goals become harder, a greater level of satisfaction and achievement can be reached. Completing a marathon is a great accomplishment for anyone but an even greater satisfaction for someone older. For some older people, running can put too much stress on the body and isn’t healthy, however there are many other alternatives to keeping fit. Responsibly working towards a fitness goal can help ease the stress that may come with age.
Mark is still running today and hopes to complete a half marathon in the near future.