With the gyms closed and regular exercise classes not available during the lockdown, more and more people have been taking up running. It’s a great way to exercise, particularly in this climate, because it gets you out of the house and it’s free! However, it’s essential to be mindful that running is a high impact sport, and it’s hard on your joints, particularly your knees and back. There are some things that you can do to help protect them so that you don’t suffer from long term injury as a result of your new exercise routine.
If you have started running and are already experiencing some pain, as a result, it’s worth seeking advice from a medical professional sooner rather than later. Schauder chiropractor Orlando Fl offers a three-stage treatment plan of relief, corrective care, and wellness care, which helps you to not only heal from your injury but provides you with advice and support to prevent you from injuring yourself again when you restart your exercise routine.
Get the right footwear
Although they may look like just another pair of sneakers, running shoes are designed primarily to protect your feet so that they are cushioned from the high impact of constantly hitting the ground. They are also designed to be lightweight and help you to spring forward so that you can run faster. Choosing the right running shoe is probably the most essential thing that you can do to protect yourself from injury. It’s essential to ensure that your running shoes fit properly and that they are designed correctly to support your feet. For example, you can get shoes with pronation control, which compensates for ankles that tend to roll when you run.
Warm-up and cool-down
By ensuring that you warm up correctly before running, you are helping yourself to avoid injury by not immediately starting to work an unprepared muscle, and by cooling down, you are ensuring that any muscle tension that developed during your run is eased off, which also helps to prevent injury. The cool-down is additionally essential to help your heart and lungs to transition from hard exercise back to being static; without it, you can find that you become light-headed. Warm-ups and cool-downs don’t need to be long, only five to ten minutes, but they are essential.
Strength training is highly beneficial to runners because it helps to build the muscles around your joints, therefore protecting them from an injury that could be caused by the impact of running. In particular, it is worth focusing on your glutes and core, as these are large muscles that are well placed to take the strain away from your lower back with the right training.
Be mindful of the surfaces you run on
Running on concrete puts a lot of pressure on your joints. If possible, opt to run on a rubber-based running track or on grass as a springy surface will help to cushion the impact of your feet consistently hitting the ground. If you are running on grass, be aware of anything that might have left it damp, such as dew in the mornings or rain, as wet grass is slippery and so you may be at higher risk of a fall.