“Running can be a valuable component of an elderly individual‘s exercise routine, but it should be approached with caution and under the guidance of healthcare professionals,” warned a doctor.
At 81 years of age, Amitabh Bachchan is unstoppable. The actor and talk show host took to Instagram to flaunt his running skills. In a video captured by his son Abhishek Bachchan, the ‘Paa‘ star was seen excitably running around in his garden wearing a hoodie. The accompanying caption read, “The hoodie cap is covering the word ‘Keep’… So it’s ‘Keep Going’… Yes!”
Abhishek cheered on his father in the comment section, writing, “Keep runnin’ homeboy! [sic]” Many fans also lauded the ‘Sholay‘ actor. “Amit [ji] on fire,” someone wrote. “Keep going,” another person added.
While it is commendable that an octogenarian like Bachchan senior is able to stay fit and active, one must exercise some caution, especially if they are senior citizens. On elderly fitness and some safety measures that should be followed, Dr Anup Khatri, senior consultant- orthopedics, Global Hospital, Parel, Mumbai said it is great to see individuals, regardless of age, staying active. “Engaging in regular exercise is beneficial for overall health, including for the elderly. When it comes to running, especially for someone like Amitabh Bachchan, there are specific considerations that should be taken into account.”
According to the doctor, before starting any new exercise routine, especially high-impact activities like running, consulting with a healthcare professional is essential. “A doctor can assess an individual’s health status and provide personalised recommendations based on their medical history.” He added that for elderly individuals, a well-rounded exercise routine should include cardiovascular, strength, flexibility, and balance exercises.
“While running addresses cardiovascular fitness, it is important to incorporate other forms of exercise to maintain overall physical well-being,” Dr Khatri said.
He listed some precautionary tips for elderly individuals engaging in running:
- Medical evaluation: Prioritise a thorough medical check-up to identify any underlying health issues or conditions that might affect the ability to run safely.
- Start gradually: Begin with a walking program before transitioning to running. This gradual approach allows the body to adapt to the increased intensity, reducing the risk of injuries.
- Proper footwear: Wear supportive and well-cushioned shoes to absorb impact and minimise stress on joints.
- Warm-up and cool down: Incorporate dynamic warm-up exercises before running to prepare muscles and joints. Follow with a cool-down and stretching routine to enhance flexibility and reduce muscle stiffness.
- Listen to the body: Pay attention to any discomfort, pain, or unusual sensations. If experienced, it is crucial to rest and seek medical advice if symptoms persist.
- Cross-training: Include activities like swimming or cycling to diversify the exercise routine, reducing the repetitive impact on joints associated with running.
- Stay hydrated: Proper hydration is essential, especially during physical activities. Dehydration can contribute to muscle cramps and fatigue.
- Balance and strength training: Integrate exercises that enhance balance and strengthen muscles. This can help prevent falls and injuries.
“Running can be a valuable component of an elderly individual’s exercise routine, but it should be approached with caution and under the guidance of healthcare professionals. Prioritising overall fitness, including strength and flexibility, is crucial for maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle in older age,” the doctor concluded.
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