In my last blog post, I talked about the the day when we realize that we can’t or shouldn’t keep running. After we’ve accepted it, we need to ask ourselves, what’s next?
In order to maintain the health benefits of running, we need to keep doing aerobic exercises. Aerobic exercises are exercises that you can do on a sustained basis which cause you to breathe heavily, and use more oxygen. These include biking, swimming hiking, dancing or even skiing. President Bush famously transitioned from long-distance running to aggressive mountain biking due to the progression of osteoarthritis that he was experiencing in his knees.
Ultimately, we want to improve and maintain our cardiovascular fitness and maintain the positive psychological benefits that our running provided. Also aerobic exercises will help keep us strong, maintain our weight and maintain good muscle tone. It will help us to sleep better as well as perform our job and home duties more efficiently and with lower risk of injury.
If you want to burn calories and achieve the same cardiopulmonary benefits that you did by running, you will need to increase the intensity of whatever aerobic activities you have chosen. If you are biking, you will need to bike on hills and at a fairly fast pace. If you are swimming, you also need to swim at a fairly fast pace. If you’re able to have a comfortable conversation while you’re performing your aerobic activity, you need to pick up the pace.