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Tips to successfully start jogging or running later in life

Dec 6, 2011, 11:13 a.m.

Jogging or running can help you maintain a healthy weight, combat diseases such as heart disease and cancer, and even help alleviate depression. And though many people think they're too old to start running when they're over 55, nothing could be further from the truth. With a bit of planning, good running shoes and a nice dose of enthusiasm, you can make jogging or running a healthy part of your life. The following tips will give you a head start:

Get the right shoes. Go to a reputable athletics store and ask for advice on the right running shoe for you. And remember, change shoes frequently to avoid wear and tear affecting your joints.

Plan a nice running route. If you can, plan your route along a river or the ocean, through a park, or around a nice part of town. The prettier and more relaxing your route, the more you'll enjoy running. And that will boost the already beneficial effects of your exercise even more!

Run in the morning. Research shows that joggers who exercise in the morning are 80% more likely to stick with it, probably because the endorphins released by the exercise makes them feel good all day long. To make the most of your workout, try running before breakfast. Make sure you're hydrated before you leave and bring a small bottle of water to sip along the way.

Don't overdo it. Many beginning runners make the mistake of pushing themselves too hard. Your body needs time to adjust to any new form of exercise, and if you don't give it enough time, it can result in fatigue, stress and injury. Build up your workout slowly to gradually strengthen your physique and cardiovascular system.

Always bring your cell phone with you. Safety should always come first, so never hit the road without making sure you can call for help or assistance.

Jog with a friend. Exercising with a friend provides moral support, motivation and just plain fun! And on days when running is the last thing on your mind, you can keep each other on track.

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