How to Prevent Injuries When Running

Mar 12, 2018 by

Photo by Naassom Azevedo on Unsplash

Physical and emotional well-being is a priority that shouldn’t be overlooked, and exercise is a great way to improve your quality of life. Running is a great cardiovascular activity that strengthens the heart, and it’s one of the most easily accessible forms of exercise.

If you decide to turn your life around and plan to start running, it’s important not to dive in head first. Slowly introduce your body to exercise, and gradually acclimate to running at different intensities. Once you’ve established a foundation, you can build on this by increasing distance and pace as you see fit. New runners have a tendency to try and conquer the world without warming up properly, which can lead to injuries.

Doing too much too soon can contribute to foot ailments. In some cases these injuries leave you needing to speak to a specialist, like those available at Podiatry Inc. Tallmadge, OH. There are various doctors on-hand to attend to your podiatry issues, and they can help you get back on track and ready to engage in proper running.

Though consulting with professionals is necessary if you’ve developed foot issues, what’s most important is taking preventative action to avoid injury. To ensure a strong, injury-free running environment, here are some mistakes to avoid and tips for optimal success.

Stretching Too Much? Walk It Out

Stretching is crucial to help warm up the muscles, but it’s important not to take stretching to the extreme. You’re probably better off saving deep stretches like lunges and butterfly holds for post-workout, since intense stretching while muscles are cold can do more bad than good. This is especially true for runners, where deep stretching can make your muscles feel sluggish and tough to get moving. Rather than stretching before running, it’s advisable to engage in a 3 to 5 minute gentle walk to raise the heart rate, followed by a five minute run-walk. The first five minutes of warming up gives your body time to prepare.

Jumping In Too Quickly? Try Cross-Training

If you’re new to running, slipping straight into an intense exercise routine is ill-advised. Your body might be fresh during the first couple of weeks, but after a while it will slowly break down under intense pressure. This is one of the most common routes to injury, where shin splints, knee injuries, and fatigue is a consequence of diving in. If you’re an active person and go to the gym, you can weave running into your cross-training routine. This simulates running but with less impact on the joints, and as you increase mileage on the cross-trainer you’ll be better prepared for the impact of running. Once you’ve established a good cross-training routine, you can slowly transition to the treadmill.

Pushing Yourself Too Hard? Create Flow

If you’re working too hard while running, you’ll be susceptible to shin splints, sprains, and stress fractures. Working out frequently at high intensities doesn’t give your body the time to recover sufficiently. By having time off between runs and taking care of your nutritional requirements, your body can rest and repair effectively. To get the most out of exercise, it’s good to mix and match challenging and light workouts. Overworking your body with challenging workouts can slow down recovery in the adaptation phase, so focus on your breathing to determine whether you’re overdoing things.

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