As we realize the importance of exercise to our health and well-being, more and more people are considering running or renewing their gym memberships to get started on their fitness journey. While running is a great exercise, you should also be aware that it has some risks of injury if you don’t prep your transition correctly. Being inactive and suddenly taking on running may not be a great idea.
In this article, we will run you through some common mistakes people make as they get into running.
What Inactivity Does to the Body
Our bodies are designed for constant movement, with our heart and lungs being examples of muscles that need to stay active to function correctly. When you’re inactive, you are prone to a range of health issues like the following:
- The muscles lose mass
- Muscles become weak
- The body becomes less flexible and more prone to injury
- Other parts of the body may pick up the slack of the atrophied muscles
When you’re entirely inactive and then suddenly take on something like running, your body needs time to adjust. Otherwise, you may be putting too much stress on muscles that are currently weakened. It helps to get a health and fitness check from a physiotherapist to help you figure out the amount of exercise your body can take.
Running Mistakes to Avoid
If you’re a first-time runner or getting back to running after inactivity, here are a few of the common mistakes you must avoid:
Not Getting Proper Shoes
Injuries resulting from wearing inappropriate shoes are common in running. These injuries happen as the impact of your foot hits the ground and sends vibrations up your leg, causing microtears in the muscles.
It is essential to get proper running shoes to take the impact of running, allowing you to enjoy the activity without hurting yourself. You can go to a specialty shoe store and look for shoes that minimize the shock from running impact and protect your legs.
As you start running, you may begin experiencing a runner’s high. This high feels like it clears your mind and leaves you feeling buzzed. This is a reaction in the brain area responsible for pleasure. However, as you experience this runner’s high, you may not notice that you are pushing your body too far and injuring yourself. This can cause strains, sprains, and overuse injuries.
Make sure to pace yourself and spread out days of intensive running with leisurely power walking.
A Problem with Your Gait
If you’re a beginner at running, you may not know that your running gait can actually cause problems. Most runners tend to overstride and land too far in front of them instead of landing on their mid-foot. This is called overstriding.
You may do this thinking you are running faster or more efficiently. However, it actually adds resistance to the heels and uses more energy to run this way. This gait also puts your body at an awkward angle that affects the impact distribution up your leg.
Warming up and stretching allows your muscles to expand, making them more resilient and preventing injury. If you do not warm up before you start running, you’re also risking leg injuries.
Running can be a gratifying activity with all its health benefits, but you have to get started the right way. These are a few mistakes that can leave you injured and unable to enjoy your running experience. If you are unsure how to get started, get in touch with a physiotherapist, and they can help you understand your body’s needs and show you how to get started with the proper exercise routine.
Are you looking for affordable physiotherapy in Bondi? Invigor Health can help you run efficiently, confidently, and pain-free. Book your online session today!