Everyone wants to be fit and healthy. Exercise is the best possible solution to achieve your fitness goal. There are various reasons for people who want to do exercise. Some individuals want to look good while others want to develop their strength and endurance.
Running is one of the most favorite physical activities. According to the article written by Marie Forgine in Los Angeles Times, Running is the second most popular physical activity in U.S.A, Australia, Canada and Britain. In ‘Couch Potato or Exercise Enthusiast? The Top Ten Most Popular Sports and Physical Activity in the U.K.’, Michael Oliver writes that fourteen percent population in U.K chooses to run for outdoor physical activity.
Running is one of the most economical choices of a workout. You do not need to buy expensive, heavy machinery. You just need a pair of running shoes, and you are ready to go. Another reason why running should be our first choice to achieve a healthy lifestyle it does not require any specialized training. You don’t need to learn how to use paddles or how to time your jump with a skipping rope. You just need to run, which is part of your instinct.
While you are running, you want to see how far you can go. How far can you run while being breathless? When your body has reached its limit, you still want it to move forward even though it intends to fall on a soft bed.
This idea of pushing your boundaries might cause pain and injuries, but you could prevent this from happening if your take proper measures. Adam Beam edited a book named ‘Runner’s World Best: Injury-Free Running’ which is a guide on how to prevent your body from suffering while you are running. The points on which this focus on are:
This book points out that people want to achieve their desirable goal as early as possible. They tend to push their limits without even considering whether their body and mind will be able to keep up with their impractical objectives. Most people tend to ignore minor pains and injuries which are early signs of a major problem. They think these injuries and pains will go away, but this does not happen. These injuries will only increase and will hinder your running. If you over-train your mind and body, you will not enjoy running, but you will take it as a chore. Over-training might cause fatigue, weakened immune system which makes you an easy target for flu and another ailment, poor appetite. It will also get you work less efficiently.
The book advises the runners to not to overexert themselves but recognize early signs of fatigue by listening to their body. The first thing you should keep in mind what you are is your goal. Do you want to keep your body in shape or do you want to run a marathon? Build your training schedule according to your aim. You should create a training plan according to your target.
Secondly, try to increase your training slowly. Increase your training by ten percent from the previous day. After a day of hard-core training, try to take it easy for one day. People, who are amateurs, should try challenging workouts on their first day of running. They should develop their stamina and strength first.
This book advises you to keep a diary to record your training experience. This journal will keep you aware of your progress towards your goal and help you in improving the areas of the training i.e. speed, time, and strength training. You could alter those sections of your training which make it difficult for you to run or cause injuries. Try to note down everything which affects your running such as extreme weather conditions and exertion levels. Note down whether you have run hard or choose to do easy running and how much time has you spend on it.
You should not try to increase your speed and distance at the same time. You should never over train by running hard for two days in a row. You also shouldn’t improve the timing of your run one day and decide to increase the speed the next day. You should mix your running and walking until your body can endure your exercise.
People know that to relax the muscles, warm-up exercises need to be done before running. Studies have shown that if you do warm-up exercises before running, you might prevent muscle soreness. Relaxed muscles would allow you to run more efficiently as the loosened muscles would help you avoid injuries as they could handle more force with fewer struggles.
Runners tend to experience pulled muscle or increase in less efficient running as they make a habit of stopping altogether, choosing to take a shower or return to their regular choose after they are done with their run. You should do some stretching exercises after you are done with your running. This helps you in reducing injuries by stretching your muscles.
Lewis G. Maharam M.D writes about measures that should be taken to prevent different kind injuries during running in his book, ‘Running Doc’s Guide to Healthy Running: How to Fix Injuries, Stay Active and Run Pain-Free’. The different prevention methods that would stop you from get injured were focused by him.
He asks runners to use lube such as petroleum jelly and Body Glide in the areas that rub together during running such as the area between thighs under armpits, to avoid chafing.
He also points out that blisters are the most common ailment caused by running. Friction between shoes and feet should be reduced to running to avoid blisters. The best way to do that is to choose shoes which are most comfortable for you. Running shoes shouldn’t be too wide or too narrow. They should fit your feet perfectly. Try to walk around the store while wearing new shoes before purchasing to see whether your feet are comfortable with it. Take your insoles and orthotics with you so you could see whether the shoes make your feet comfortable with insoles and orthotics inserted in it. You should wear socks while you are running to avoid contact between feet and shoes.
Athlete’s Foot is a fungal infection that makes itself visible on the bottom part of feet and between the toes. You should avoid athlete’s foot by cleaning your feet, and change your socks and shoes right after running.
These steps should keep your running uninterrupted. If you do not follow these measures to prevent any injury, your running would be fruitless.