Running is excellent exercise, but it can sometimes cause serious injuries that can end up sidelining you for several weeks or months. So you can be careful and avoid injury, here are four great ways to help you avoid an injury while running.
Warming Up, Cooling Down
Before you run, you should warm up with stretches for 10 to 20 minutes. Warm up your feet and legs to prevent muscle cramps and perform stretches and drills to increase the blood circulation in your back, hips, and neck. If you fail to stretch before you run, then you are more likely to cramp up. Walk around to warm up before you start running and then again to cool down afterward.
Change Your Diet
If you’re overweight, then running can help you lose excess pounds, but the force of your weight can damage your feet and knees. Take control of your diet to accelerate your weight loss and reduce the impact that comes with running. If you’re already in shape, then improving your diet can keep you from cramping and prevent dehydration. In general, a good diet should include lean proteins such as chicken or beef along with whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Dairy foods are also important, but make sure to choose the low-fat varieties.
Choose the Correct Footwear and Clothing
Protect your feet by wearing the appropriate shoes. An old pair of sneakers won’t protect your toes or the sole of your foot from muscle sprains. Visit a store that sells high-quality athletic shoes to have your feet measured, then choose a running shoe that feels supportive and comfortable. Make sure to take them for a test run around the store before you buy them, or buy them from an online store with a generous return policy.
Get a Massage
A massage therapist can provide therapeutic massages for your back, legs or feet. These can help reduce recovery time and prevent muscle sprains and stiffness. Many of these massages can also be performed by yourself using your hands, a ball, or some other type of self-massage tool.
Wear Braces or Use Orthotics
If you have a problem with your feet, knees or back, then wearing customized orthotics in your shoes is important. These will allow you to continue running without causing further damage and help your injury to heal. If custom support isn’t an option, many pharmacies and athletic stores carry adjustable braces.