Running is an exercise that doctors, health experts and even mental health councilors recommend more and more.
The benefits of running can be both physical and spiritual, improving a person’s quality of life on every level. However, running is an exercise and needs to be treated with the respect of any other exercise out there.
Too many times people forget the potentially harsh nature of running, picking up unnecessary injuries in the process.
This article will provide several tips on how to prevent running injuries by taking the time and effort to do things right.
Wear the right shoes
One of the most common causes of running injuries is improper footwear. This can be something as simple as wearing the wrong size shoe, or it can be something as significant as wearing the wrong style of shoe.
In either case, the strain and stress that the wrong footwear will put on your feet, ankles and even back are no joke, and can cause anything from minor discomfort to serious, lasting injuries.
The simplest solution to this basic problem is to consult a professional before beginning your running program.
A shoe expert will be able to recommend the correct shoe, as well as ensure that the size you buy fits your feet just right.
Perform proper stretching before running
Running, compared to other exercises, can seem like a very gentle, safe exercise.
While this is true to a point, the fact is that running can put a lot of stress and strain on your body in ways that you may not realize.
Muscles are used and developed in running much the same way that muscles are used and developed in weight training. That said, failure to perform the proper stretching exercises before running can result in muscles getting strained or even torn.
Therefore, it is critical to take the time and effort to perform the proper stretching exercises before you run every single time.
Run on the right surface
Another common cause of running injuries is running on the wrong surface.
Hard surfaces cause more impact stress while running than softer surfaces. Concrete is the most dangerous surface to run on as it does not absorb any impact whatsoever.
Softer surfaces such as sand, grass or professional running tracks are much safer as they help absorb impact, protecting your joints and bones from stress induced injury.
Flat surfaces are also better as they provide an even workout for your muscles. Hills and inclines can overwork certain muscles, and should only be used in the right way and at the right time.
Don’t overdo it
Another common cause of running injuries is overdoing it. Simply put, while pushing yourself can be a good thing, pushing yourself too hard can be catastrophic.
We all want to achieve the best results in the shortest time possible, but pushing too hard in any exercise can result in serious, lasting injury. The best thing to do is to start slow and allow your body to develop in a natural progression.
Additionally, make sure that you don’t run too often. Giving yourself a day of rest in between running will allow your muscles to strengthen at a safe pace.
Running every day can actually cause muscle damage, including sprains and even tears.
Taking time to let your body develop will not only prevent injury, but it will also produce the best possible results for running or any other exercise you choose to perform.
With the tips covered in this article you will now be able to begin a running regimen that will be both safe and rewarding. With the proper footwear, environment and approach, you can reap all the benefits of running while avoiding all the risks of unnecessary injury.