Running is a fantastic way to exercise, and delivers a whole range of physical, mental and emotional benefits. However, running isn't without it's dangers. If you aren't careful, running can lead to several painful and frustrating injuries that can keep you on the sidelines. In this article, you'll learn a few basic tips to stay healthy and injury free so you can run further, and more often.
The most important rule is to spend plenty of time stretching, both before and after your run. At the very least you should stretch out our calves, thighs, and hamstrings. While many people enjoy running because it's an activity you can fit in anywhere, don't skimp on the stretching. Limber muscles and tendons are less likely to strain and cause problems later down the line. Make it a habit of spending a few minutes before and after your run to stretch out.
Another thing to beware of is over training. Running can be mesmerizing, and some people can really push themselves to amazing limits. But the more you train, the more you expose yourself to injury. Rest is just as important as training, as it gives your body more time to recover and recuperate. Many studies have shown that more sports injuries than you'd think are due to too much training.
Shoes are also very important. The right pair of shoes, with the right cushioning is vital to staying injury free. Even if you have the perfect shoe, it's important to get new ones when the time is right. Running with an old pair of shoes is exposing your joints to excessive shock that can be harmful in the long run. Make sure to get new shoes frequently, every six months or so if you're putting in some serious miles. Many people like to buy several pairs at once, to make it easier.
Another thing to consider is where you run. If you have access to a park or trail where you don't to worry about cars, that's great. But if that isn't available, consider getting some reflective tape to put on your shirt, so that you are more visible, especially if you run early in the morning or late in the evening. Getting hit by a car will certainly put your running career on hold for quite a while.
While these ideas are fairly simple, they will keep you safe, and protect you from getting injured. That way you'll be able to focus on running, and all the benefits that it brings.