With the warmer months now beginning, many runners who have been in hibernation will be getting back on the road or trails. Running is great exercise, but it is also hard on the feet, as well as other parts of your body. To avoid injury and ensure that you get the most out of your exercise, here are some tips to keep in mind.
Check In with Your Body and Podiatrist: Even before you start running, check in with your body, especially your feet, back, and legs. How do they feel? Are you experiencing any pain or discomfort? Regardless of whether you are or not, you should probably schedule an appointment with your primary physician or Lansdale foot pain expert, who can tell you if your body is ready.
The Right Shoes: Having the right shoes is important, since they will be supporting you. The average sneaker has a finite running life of six to nine months, if averaging between 9-12 miles a week. That means that, if your sneakers are over a year old, they should be replaced. You will need to make sure they fit and work properly before you start running, which also means a two- week break-in period. Make sure to wear socks, as well as use your orthotics.
Start Slow and Go Easy: It is important to start slowly, with shorter runs, working up to longer goals. Start by jogging short distances regularly before going further. If this is your first time running, start by walking, and then move into running gradually. Make sure you always give your body sufficient time to rest between runs to avoid injury and burn out. Also make sure to drink water regularly while you run to stay hydrated.
Warm Up and Cool Down: A good rule is to stretch before and after running, although be careful not to overdo your pre-running stretch and save deeper stretching until afterwards. Walk after your run to allow your body time to cool down and lower your heart rate and blood pressure. You may also want to walk before your run to give your body an opportunity to warm up.
Run Smartly and Safely: There are several additional precautions that you can take to ensure that you stay safe, as well as healthy. First, look for a running partner or group to run with, who will act as a source of motivation and company, as well as help keep you safe. You might also consider wearing a heart rate monitor, so you can track your exertion and keep yourself within a safe heart range.
Finally, let’s end where we began:Always listen to your body. If you are experiencing pain of any kind, do not assume that it will pass or can be walked off. Make sure you contact your Lansdale podiatrist for an appointment.