Running in your 40s can bring a host of physical and mental benefits that go beyond just exercise.
I’ve been a runner for most of my life. I was a sprinter in my elementary years through to university. Somewhere in high school, I discovered long-distance running. I wasn’t good at it, but I ran long distances as a way to cross-train for track & field. During my mid to late 20s, I had a hiatus from running but rediscovered my love somewhere in my early 30s and I’m still running into my late 40s.
Although running in my 40s has been a different experience, I see so many benefits! From increasing energy levels to improving health, discover why running is an ideal way for adults over 40 to stay fit, healthy, and active. I don’t believe you have to be a lifelong runner to enjoy the benefits of running in your 40s either!
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Reduces Stress and Anxiety
Regularly running in your 40s can help reduce stress and anxiety. It can help release serotonin, which is a natural mood enhancer, as well as other feel-good hormones like dopamine and endorphins. Regular running can also help improve symptoms of depression and anxiety disorder, making it a powerful tool for mental health. Plus, runner’s high isn’t just a myth – it’s real!
One of my favourite running quotes at the moment is this one:
Worry Less, Run More
Improves Mental Health
Research shows that running releases endorphins and serotonin to help reduce depression, anxiety and stress, making it another strong argument in favour of running in your 40s. It’s also an excellent tool for boosting self-confidence, concentration, decision-making ability and memory recall. If you suffer from poor mental health and feel that you need a distraction or an outlet that can help improve your mood, then I highly advised you to start running or increase your existing training routine.
Helps You Sleep Better
Another benefit of running in your 40s I can vouch for is better sleep quality. With hormonal changes going through my body in perimenopause, I admit to bouts of insomnia. I’m sure many older adults can relate or might have other sleep disorders, but running can help combat that. When you go for a run, your body will naturally create more serotonin which helps promote relaxation and better sleep when your head hits the pillow. Plus, with improved cardio health (thanks to running!) you’ll be able to stay asleep longer and wake up feeling well-rested.
Increase muscle strength and endurance as well as improve coordination
Running is a great way to strengthen your muscles and bones, as the intensity and weighted nature of the activity forces you to use more muscle groups. It’s also a great way to improve coordination by forcing you to pay attention to how your body is performing. Improving your strength, endurance and coordination could make it easier for you to accomplish daily tasks without experiencing fatigue or physical exhaustion. There’s another great reason to start running in your 40s.
Strengthens Bones and Joints
Running is a great form of exercise to build strength and help older adults protect their bones and joints. As we age, our bones tend to become weaker and running can help you develop your strength and prevent future injuries. In addition, studies have found that running helps reduce the risk of osteoarthritis in the knee joint which can often develop as we get older.
Reduce the risk of serious diseases like cancer and heart disease
Running is a form of exercise that helps reduce the risk of developing certain medical conditions such as cancer, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. By taking up running in your 40s you can make sure that you’re doing everything possible to protect your health and lower the chances of developing dangerous illnesses. Studies suggest that exercise can reduce the risk of some forms of cancer, such as colon cancer, by reducing inflammation in the body which has been linked to tumour growth. Additionally, running strengthens your heart and helps lower cholesterol levels – potentially slowing down or reversing calcification in arteries – making it essential for preventing clogged arteries and maintaining cardiovascular health.
As you can see, running in your 40’s has so many benefits. It helps reduce stress and anxiety, improves mental health, reduces depression, helps you sleep better, improves muscles strengthens bones and joints and reduces the risks of serious diseases like cancer and heart disease! So, what are you waiting for?
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