Running is great exercise, but if you aren’t careful, running can also take a hefty toll on your joints. Fortunately there are plenty of things you can do before ever starting your run that will help you stay injury free.
Use the following tips to make your next run safer before you start.
Set Reasonable Goals
Many injuries occur because runners try to add mileage too quickly, or because they try to run too fast when they aren’t properly prepared. One rule of thumb is to increase your mileage by no more than 10 percent from week to week. Don’t jump straight from 10-mile runs to 15 miles. Move gradually from ten miles to eleven and then from eleven miles to twelve and so forth. If your body tells you that this pace is still too quick, listen. Being patient is key to preventing injuries.
Invest In Good Shoes
Your shoes are the foundation of your run. Invest in high quality shoes that fit well and replace them every 300-500 miles. To make your shoes last longer, don’t wear them for other activities and get a second pair to switch between.
Get Plenty Of Sleep
If you are groggy, sluggish, and tired, you are more likely to hurt yourself while running. Getting enough rest helps you focus, remember things, and stay positive. Sleep also gives your muscles a chance to rebuild and repair themselves. Sleep is just as important to your health as your exercise routine, so don’t skimp on sleep to sneak in a run.
Give Your Body The Fuel It Needs
If you want to avoid feeling lightheaded, sluggish, or unfocused, you should stay hydrated and have a snack before you run. Your body needs water and food to fuel your run.
Warm Up And Stretch
Many injuries can be prevented if you warm up and stretch before your run. Your muscles will be less stiff and sore, and you’ll be able to stride further and move faster. Your warm up is as important as the rest of your workout. Stretch your arms and legs before you run and jog or walk for a few minutes before you hit a full run to prepare your body for movement.
For more advice about protecting your body and your joints, visit Plancher Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine.