Did you know that 80% of the injuries runners endure are the result of poor training and running practices? Even so, people still want to push themselves further and further each time they hit the pavement. However, this can lead to injuries that take weeks or months to heal. For running to be a healthy exercise for you, there are certain ways you can train that will better guard against injury in your future.
1. Warming Up
Warm up properly before you begin to run by doing a light jog and stretching the muscles in your legs. It is recommended that you stretch them for at least five minutes before running and after you have finished your run and cool down. If you are an avid runner, try yoga or pilates to stretch your body first. Take five to ten minutes to get your body nice and limber.
2. Proper Support
Runners who wear the right support according to their needs are much less likely to suffer from injuries while training than those who don’t wear support at all. The wrong support could actually be harmful to you over the long term. The right support will help keep your knees and back strong. There are many shoe options available depending on your activity, from running shoes to super-useful jogging sandals – there’s bound to be a style to match your activity.
3. A Good Footing
It is best to start off running on a dirt path or grassy trail rather than on concrete. This gives better traction and shock absorption while running, which can help avoid injuries to your feet, ankles, and legs.
If you are into high impact sports or are a professional athlete that plays a game that involves you to change directions quickly, you might end up injuring your ACL. This is a serious and even career-threatening injury that requires immediately ACL replacement. If you are not proactive in this regard, you can wish your career goodbye.
4. Avoid Overtraining
The body needs rest! When you train over an extended period without any break, your body begins to have trouble recovering fully before its next workout. This may lead to ailment or injury when the body simply can’t recover from the intense workout it just had within the time it is supposed to do so naturally.
5. The Right Nutrition
Do not eat a high carbohydrate diet before your run. Doing so will cause your blood glucose levels to drop significantly and can lead to dizziness, cramps, fatigue, piles of stress on the body, and could even cause you to faint when running.
The importance of hydration must be stressed to runners who are training hard during their sessions. When this occurs, the body cannot produce adequate amounts of glycogen, which is stored in muscle cells for use as energy during activity; a lack of glycogen is one reason why people feel so tired after they exercise and need to take a break. Having enough water will help your body prepare itself for most activities, especially running.
Follow these guidelines, and you will greatly reduce your chances of getting hurt while running. It will take some time to get used to using proper running techniques, eating well, and stretching, but once you do, you will see a big difference in your endurance level and overall health. The body is a very complex machine that has many parts that need to work in tandem with one another for optimal function. If one or two of the parts don’t work properly, then the entire system may be compromised as a whole. Most injury-causing scenarios are the result of neglecting one part (or more) of the body for so long that it no longer functions as it should when called upon to perform its tasks during exercise or daily activities.