Seniors: Overcome Stress by Running It Into the Ground
Stress is extremely common, with 78% of adult Americans having experienced symptoms in 2015 and more than 10% of those reporting at least one mental illness. Unfortunately, seniors are particularly vulnerable to stress and its health implications, particularly caregivers, with those over the age of 50 struggling more than their younger counterparts to cope with it. Risks of a mental breakdown from sustained levels of stress are high. The good news is that you can look out for various signs of stress and there is a healthy, rewarding and very effective way of combatting it: running.
Why stress is a serious issue in seniors
Stress does not necessarily manifest itself in obvious ways. Its symptoms vary greatly and can be very subtle; for example, while stress might be plain to see in an overworked employee consistently working late hours and losing his or her temper, identifying stress in senior citizens may require a lot more observation. For example, the stress of losing a long-term partner, rendering someone alone in their home, can cause significant stress on the person left behind, as they try to adjust to a new life and often, the confidence to engage in social activities alone. What is clear is that chronic stress in seniors is potentially very dangerous, with the effect of their resulting weakened immune systems putting their lives in very real danger. This is why running is such a powerful tool.
Why running is the perfect antidote to stress in seniors
Exercise really is the best way of beating stress, with this story being the perfect example of this. The power of running is particularly striking in relation to senior citizens, as the potentially sociable aspect of it can help to combat loneliness and, through regular group sessions, provides a sense of structure and purpose to people’s days – two things that can be hard to establish for people living alone in older age. In this way, running – like all forms of exercise – can provide a free, natural and highly effective way of overcoming stress that is far safer than simply turning to antidepressants.
Don’t suffer in silence
If you are suffering from stress, give running a go. You really are never too old to start and the results can be life-changing. Be sure to check out this guidance on getting started before you get your running shoes on though. With the right attitude and approach, you’ll soon be on your way to a happier you. Remember, you won’t be running away from the problem, but rather tackling it head on.
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