Running is a terrific form of high-impact, aerobic exercise, but it can put quite a strain on the body – especially the knees, ankles, and hips.
By implementing a few guiding principles, you can minimize the chances for an orthopedic (musculoskeletal) injury and keep enjoying running regularly. Let’s talk about those principles so you can stay limber and ready for the run.
Tips for Successful Running
There are several ways to avoid the typical injuries that seem to befall runners of all levels, including the following:
Warm Up and Stretch
Even if you’re only going on a quick run because you’re short on time, do a quick warm-up first. Simple things like stretching, warming up, and cooling down are the simplest ways to treat muscles and joints properly.
Drink Plenty of Fluids
Hydrate properly before going on a run. This will help ensure that you’re setting off at peak condition. Drink water and sports drinks like Gatorade, which is specially formulated to replace nutrients that are lost while sweating and exercising.
Wear Running Attire
Always wear comfortable, supportive shoes – ideally, wear shoes that are specifically made for runners. Local athletic stores can help new runners in their quest to get the proper gear, like lightweight, breathable fabrics. Wearing properly fitted socks can help you avoid developing corns and blisters on your feet.
Inspect Your Shoes
You never know when a screw, nail, or stone may have begun to work its way into the sole of a shoe. Just give your shoes a quick check while you put them on, otherwise you may puncture a foot or trip if there is an object that is stuck inside the bottom of your shoe.
Also make sure your shoelaces are fully tied and are not hanging down too far. Even pro runners can have debilitating falls due to tripping over a shoelace.
Get Custom Orthotics
If you have flat arches or unstable ankles, orthotic shoe inserts can help lessen the chance of an injury to the foot or ankle. An orthopedic physician can recommend the optimum type of orthotics to be custom-made for your feet.
Run in Flat Areas
Try to avoid running up and down steep hills, as this causes extra impact with every step while you run. Also, always choose softer surfaces over hard ones, and familiarize yourself with the aspects of a walkway or path so there are no surprises.
Don’t Ignore Aches and Pains
Listen to your body when it complains. Aches and pains are normal when starting a new exercise, but anything that doesn’t seem related to your running should be evaluated by a physician. If you ignore it, the problem can further compound itself and become debilitating.
Set Reasonable, Attainable Goals
Just because you could run five miles a decade ago doesn’t mean you can just pick up where you left off. It is smart to start with a far more reachable goal that will not cause undue stress on your body. Start slowly, and give your body time to adapt and adjust back to running.
Don’t increase your running speed too quickly, and gradually increase the distance you run – do not overwhelm the body. If you do not pace yourself, it will be painful just to walk afterward.
Orthopedic Specialists in Metro Detroit
If you live in the Clinton Township area of Michigan and hurt from running, visit Movement Orthopedics and get fast orthopedic care.
Call us today at (586) 436-3785 or request an appointment online. We look forward to serving you!