A common injury amongst runners is a condition called shin splints.
The main symptom of shin splints is sharp pain felt along the front of the lower leg—the area known as your shin.
This pain is most commonly experienced by novice runners, and is often the result of too much strain on the lower leg, usually due to pushing too hard to get quick results. Shin splints can require days or even weeks of recovery time, resulting in lost exercise time and even potentially lost time at work.
This article will present several easy to follow tips that will help you to avoid getting shin splints, and thus avoid the pain and hassle that they can cause.
Tip 1: Take it slow
Most exercise-caused injuries are the result of pushing too hard, too fast.
People often fail to realize how important it is to allow your body enough time to adapt to a new exercise regimen. Shin splints are a prime example of this situation.
The best way to avoid shin splints is to build your running routine gradually, thus giving your body the time to develop and strengthen in order to better handle the new demands you are placing on it.
Take enough time to rest, and don’t be in a hurry to increase your running distance or time.
Tip 2: Avoid hard surfaces
Shin splints, by purest definition, are an impact injury. The increased impact on your shins as the result of running is the prime cause of the condition.
In addition to increasing your runs gradually, which allows your body to adjust to the increased impact, you should try to avoid running on hard surfaces.
Softer surfaces, such as grass or sand, will help reduce the impact caused by running. This will help protect your shins from the harsh conditions that can increase the chance of injury.
Tip 3: Wear proper footwear
Shoes that are unsupportive will fail to protect your shins from the impact and strain of running.
Proper footwear will help to distribute the force of impact throughout your entire foot, lessening the impacts on any one particular area. By reducing the overall force of the impact experienced while running, you will help keep your shins safe from injury.
It is critical, therefore, that you take the time to consult with an expert who can make sure you purchase the best shoes not just for running, but for the particular build of your feet as well.
Tip 4: Prepare properly for your run
Preparing for a run is just as important as preparing for any other exercise.
One of the things you need to do is stretching exercises for your feet and legs. Simple toe raises and heel raises will help to get your feet stretched and ready to go. Leg stretches will help to stretch your Achilles tendon, which will provide significant support while running.
Additionally, taking the proper time to walk before and after running will help your body to warm up and cool down from a rigorous work out.
The four tips in this article are little more than common sense. More often than not, the injuries we suffer are the result of us trying to cut corners and save time.
Taking the right time to develop your running routine, along with the time to warm up and cool down will go a long way to preventing shin splints.
Additionally, using the proper footwear and running surface will help to keep your body safe and strong during even the most challenging of runs.