Healthy Aging: Is Running the Answer?

As the elderly population grows, it is important to find ways to help older individuals stay healthy. An active lifestyle can improve the quality of life and maintain health as we age. A popular form of exercise— running— can be beneficial, but it can also lead to injuries. How we move and how we change our movement patterns from one step to the next have been associated with injury risk. The investigators of this study measured how younger and older runners with similar weekly running mileage moved. Overall, older and younger runners moved similarly with only slight differences in movement at the hip and ankle. Furthermore, the step-to-step changes in movement were similar in both groups. This means that running itself may help keep older people moving like their younger counterparts.These research findings could have important implications for activity recommendations for healthy aging in adults and may even indicate that older adults with running experience are less vulnerable to running injuries.

View the study’s abstract