Starting a running regiment can be both exciting and intimidating. For many, the rush of excitement at finally committing to a daily run can often overshadow certain important steps that should be taken before lacing up your shoes. Stretching and warming up are essential steps that should not be overlooked when preparing for a run.
Properly stretching muscles helps reduce the risk of injury during physical activity. It increases blood flow to the muscles, allowing them to better handle the stress of exercise by becoming more flexible, elastic, and able to absorb shock and sudden changes in direction or speed.
Warming up prepares the body for more intense movements while increasing circulation and oxygen levels in muscle tissue – which is why it’s important to gently stretch first and then move on to dynamic warm-up exercises.
Taking a few minutes to properly stretch and warm up before running can help you feel more energized, reduce fatigue, and prevent potential injuries. So don’t forget the importance of stretching and warming up before each run – your body will thank you later!
In this blog, we will discuss some tips and advice to ensure that you stay moving and aren’t sidelined by an injury that is picked up while running.
7 Things You Can Do Before a Run To Help Prevent Injury
1. Stretch Your Muscles: Stretching your muscles before a run helps to loosen and warm up the muscles, enabling them to perform at their best during your run. It also helps increase flexibility, which can help reduce the risk of injuries.
2. Check Your Shoes: Ensuring that you have shoes with good cushioning is important for reducing the impact on your body when running. An old pair of worn-out shoes may lead to increased stress on your joints and muscles, making it more likely that you could suffer an injury while running.
3. Increase Your Gradual Running Pace: Increasing your running pace gradually over time will help reduce the risk of injuries due to sudden changes in intensity or duration. A gradual increase will help your body adjust to the increased load, and also give you a chance to work on any weak points.
4. Take in Enough Fuel: Eating a well-balanced meal prior to your run is important for ensuring that your body has enough energy to last through the entire run. Eating too little may lead to fatigue before you are able to complete your running session which can result in an injury if you push yourself too hard.
5. Hydrate Adequately: It’s important to make sure that you are adequately hydrated before beginning any type of exercise as dehydration can lead to a decrease in performance and an increased risk of injuries due to muscle cramps or exhaustion.
6. Pay Attention to Your Form: Keeping your posture in check while running is important for reducing the risk of injuries due to poor form. Make sure you are landing on your feet properly, and maintaining a good running gait throughout your session.
7. Warm up and Cool Down: Warming up prior to beginning your run helps increase blood flow to the muscles, and also prepares them for more intense activity later on. Doing cool down exercises after each run helps reduce muscle soreness, as well as decrease the risk of injury from sudden changes in intensity or duration.
All of these tips can help you improve the chances of avoiding problems when running and reduce the risk of sustaining an injury during exercise. By following these simple steps, you can make sure that you stay healthy and injury-free.
What If I’ve Picked Up An Injury While Running
Running is a great way to stay fit and active, but it can also put stress on our bodies if we’re not careful. Common running injuries include shin splints, plantar fasciitis, and Achilles tendonitis. Each of these injuries involves inflammation or overuse of the muscles and tendons related to running.
The most effective treatment for running-related injuries is physical therapy. Physical therapy helps manage pain and correct underlying muscular imbalances that may have caused the injury in the first place.
By working closely with us at BodyWorx, you can be sure that you are taking all necessary steps in rehabilitating from an injury and preventing future injuries. This will allow you to return to running sooner while also staying painfree.
So if you are dealing with an injury, make sure to come see us as soon as possible – it could mean the difference between returning quickly or having a long term layoff!
Check out this video with Dr. Phong Le, who fractured his kneecap, and with help from the team at Bodyworx Physical Therapy, we had him back training for and running the Chicago Marathon! Don’t let an injury discourage you from staying active and getting back to 100 percent!
Have a Running Injury or Suffer From Pain While Exercising?
If you are struggling with a running injury or pain when exercising, feel free to schedule a free phone consult, or contact us to arrange a free discovery visit. You can also feel free to give us a call at 316.558.8808 (We still like to talk on the phone!)
We also have many more running related videos on our YouTube channel.
So if you are experiencing pain or have questions about how you can stay active and prevent future problems after being sidelined with an injury, make sure to contact us and we can help!
We love to keep people in Wichita, Andover, Derby, and Maize (as well as the surrounding areas in Kansas) mobile, active, and off pain pills – let our expertise go to work for you to help you return to the activities you love.
Until next time,
Cody Barnett PT
Other Free Resources To Help Reduce The Chance of Injury When Running
Read Our Blog – Choosing the Right Shoes To Prevent Plantar Fasciitis