Friday, February 14, 2014

Let’s bust Myth#2: I am too old to run now

I had no intention of starting this blog even when I discovered the joy and benefits of running. But, then I was talking to one of my close friends in India and he suggested me to pen down the experience in own words to encourage some of our friends to walk and jog to improve their health. It sounded exciting and at the same time an opportunity to catch up with childhood friends who are all mostly in their 40s now. Although I expected to encounter some reluctance, lot of foot-dragging as well as passiveness about this sport, I took the task up in hand to stimulate friends and family around to lace up their shoes and go outside to walk, jog or run.
Yet, I missed one important point there – traditionally we are very family oriented, socially active and career savvy people with little or no penchant towards the health of mind and body. There are exceptions but most of us belong to this general category. It is deep rooted in our culture that only when you are old or retired then take up walking not just to maintain a good health but also to kill some time. But, is it sufficient, do you think it serves any real purpose?  Is it not too late by then? And at that stage does it really help in keeping you stress free or feel rejuvenated or helps burn your fat or cut calories?
Various scientific studies suggest that big health benefits come from rigorous exercise like running. There are other ones too but I consider this to be a cheap and easy one to embrace. Only things you need initially is little motivation, commitment and then an inner urge to achieve.  So, when to start – I found that the general perception among my friends is that  they are now old enough to run and there will be stress put on joints, feet, muscles and backs. This may be partially true although I don't concur but you are taking a much bigger risk by not doing anything at this stage. Why nobody is concerned about that notion? We are risk-averse people by nature when it comes to family, job, status, wealth etc. then why not for health which is one of the most important chattels you will need after 10-15 years.
A report published in one of the fitness magazine claimed that half of the long distance runner in the world started running after 40 and one-third of them are women. Does that surprise you?  Not me, because I too started late and recognized the fact this is the perfect time. With the right ratio of run/walk segments, almost anyone can finish a 10k or even half-marathon without pain. I did that myself with no fatigue or injury. Every time I go out in a race, I meet runners in their 60s, 70s and 80s who are training for – or even finished their first half marathon or marathon. If a westerner can do it so late in their life, why can’t we at 40 or 45 or even 50? Why we come up with lame excuses when it comes to jogging or running? Why do we negate to the fact that we are not doing any good to our future by not putting any effort right now?
Friends – this is the time to be proactive about your health, to boost your confidence, fill your heart with positive energy and self-esteem because then you can reap the benefit for more number of years to come. 

4 comments:

  1. Incidentally, in today's Houston Chronicle (Feb. 14, 2014) there is story about marathon running by old couple who have run 107 marathons together (the husband is 66 years and the wife is 62 year old).

    http://www.houstonchronicle.com/life/article/Marathons-help-couple-go-the-distance-5232767.php

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  2. Amazing! Sanjeev, you truly are beginning to inspire me. Like all typical mid-aged career-minded lazy men, I have been averse to running all this time .. but you are absolutely right!! All of us can do it! I'm going to start .. just not tonight! :)

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    1. Thanks Vikas,
      Knowing you for so many years, I can tell it won't be that hard for a committed person like you.

      Welcome to Fit Indian Run virtual club!

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