Running can be quite a therapeutic activity for some. Not only does it help keep you fit, but it also gives you a mental escape from all the stress. While running is indeed good for you, some beginners may get discouraged from building a running habit due to prior injuries. To help prevent running injuries, here’s what you need to do.
1. Start Small And Gradually Build Up From There
Running is not an activity that you can start immediately and do every day. Building up your endurance level takes time, and you need to start from the basics. Start with just walking and work your way up to running. By doing so, you can slowly build up the endurance that your body needs for running.
If you’re already a fitness enthusiast and you’re already running for quite some time, you still need to be careful. Make sure that you’re always injury-free by slowly increasing the length and speed of your run. It’s not a good idea to increase both the distance and speed simultaneously.
2. Always Stretch Before And After a Run
Stretching is an essential habit that every runner should have. Not only does it prepare your body to run, but it also helps relieve muscle pain and stiffness that you might feel after a run. It’s best to stretch after a run because the muscles are warm by then and more flexible.
Some examples of stretching exercises that you can do are holding your legs up and stretching them or stretching your arms overhead. It’s also good to do some warm-up exercises before a run. It helps you avoid injuries because you are loosening up your muscles before you do an intense activity.
3. Watch Your Footwork
It’s easy to get into a bad running habit of landing on your heels. Landing on your heels can be a major cause of lower leg injuries, including shin splints. To improve your running form, try to focus on landing on your mid-foot or the balls of your feet. Not only does it help with injuries, but it also helps you run faster and more efficiently.
Always remember that proper running form is necessary for preventing injuries. Do not compromise your running technique for speed. It is better to run slower and properly than running fast with a poor running form.
4. Know Your Limitations And Listen to Your Body
Running is an endurance activity that puts stress on your body. Even if you are careful about the things mentioned above, there is still a likelihood of getting injured. Always remember that you can only push your body so much. If you feel too tired or your body is starting to hurt, slow down for a bit and get a break before resuming your run.
Avoid running outside when you’re sick. Your immune system is already compromised, so it can be possible that you’ll get a viral or bacterial infection. Even if you’re just slightly ill, it’s still best to rest and avoid intense activities such as running.
Injuries can be a possibility in any activity. Be it running or any form of exercise, there’s always a risk of getting injured. But with the right mindset and with the right precautionary measures, you can still enjoy your favourite pastime while staying injury-free.
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