Perhaps you have heard the term running to fitness used here and there in relation to improving health in the most natural way possible that many people can do.
Well, I'm going to wade into the fitness arena with a post on the merits of running.
I can hear those of my generation cringing in horror at the very thought!
"What, you mean that thing we used to do when we were young?" I can hear you thinking to yourselves!
Well, yes! Running is something that as we get older we sort of forget how to do!
Remember How to Run?
Well, not everybody of course. There are plenty of over 40s and over 50s who run regularly and are very fit and healthy because of it.
It becomes a bit of a pyramid though, as age increases, the number of people who run regularly decreases. That's normal, as people become less active, especially as debilitating diseases such as arthritis are affecting more and more people these days.
I won't go into the reasons why that is. Oh, I know you'd probably love me to go off on a tangent here and rant and rave about how the overuse of modern pesticides on our food is one major link in that rather nasty chain... but I'll save that for a rant in my organic website that I write in from time to time.
It's Good for You
So back the running part. Do I need to tell you that going for a run three or four times a week is actually a good thing to do as you get older?
Probably not, but I will anyway.
As I sit here in my chair typing this it sort of brings it home that it is especially more pertinent for those of us who lead far too inactive lifestyles that we should be doing more exercise not just to burn off the excess calories, but to remind our aging muscles what they are there for!
So it's with a modicum of trepidation that I slip into shorts, tee shirt and trainer and make off for a short burst along the coastline where I live. I stress the word short!
Start Slow and Build Up
When you haven't done anything like running for longer than you can remember and your memory is getting shorter than your breath with every stride, it pays to take it easy and build up to anything approaching seriousness.
It also helps to have some music playing on your running headphones just to help pass the (very short) time before you collapse in a heap after a couple of hundred metres with your chest wondering what the hell its supposed to be doing with all the expanding and contracting and your heart trying to pound its way out of your chest cavity.
OK, it wasn't that bad, but its perhaps something I don't feel in any hurry to repeat, running headphones or not.
In fact it resurrects a memory (told you it was getting shorter and definitely hazier) of when my wife and I used to walk along the beach in the evenings with the dogs a couple of summers ago and there was this oldish looking guy, probably around the 60 mark which I know isn't all that old but he looked like he had one foot in the grave...
Well he used to run past us every evening, kitted out with designer running kit, MP3 player and headphones, the whole nine yards and he looked like he was about ready to drop dead with every laboured step he stumbled over.
Yet there he was, every evening doing the same thing. We often remarked upon his resemblance to a stumbling, half running half staggering zombie.
The memory only returned as this summer he is prominent by his absence.
Mmm. Maybe I won't follow his particular footsteps and instead stick to merely walking the dogs. The exercise is still good, far more enjoyable and the chances of seeing many more summers rather better than following the footsteps of that old guy