What Can You Do To Prevent Running Injuries
Anyone is susceptible to running injuries, from elite athletes to your everyday runner. While running has many health benefits, such as improving your cardiovascular health and reducing stress, it’s crucial to be aware of best practices to prevent an injury from occurring.
Best Running Practices to Prevent Injuries
Running is an activity you can do almost anywhere, but it doesn’t come without risks. At least 50 percent of runners will suffer from a running-related injury each year. By following these best practices, you can decrease your risk of sustaining an injury.
1. Have The Proper Equipment
Having the right equipment is key to preventing injuries when going for a run. Running shoes are designed to support the foot and provide cushioning, which helps absorb some of the impacts of running.
When shopping for an appropriate running shoe, be sure to get fitted by a professional. Running shoes should be comfortable and support the foot, ankle, and arches. Insoles, or orthotics, can also help provide extra support.
2. Stay Hydrated
Before any physical activity, it’s important to stay hydrated. Dehydration can lead to cramps, fatigue, and dizziness. So be sure to drink water before, during, and after your run.
If you’re going for a longer run, or it’s a hot day, you may want to consider carrying a water bottle with you. Sports drinks can also help replenish electrolytes. During your workout, it is advised to drink one cup of water every 15 minutes.
3. Practice Proper Running Form
Something as simple as running may seem straightforward, but don’t underestimate the importance of proper form. Running with improper form can lead to injuries, such as shin splints and Achilles tendonitis. On the other hand, having good running form may also improve your running efficiency and performance.
To run with proper form, keep your head up, shoulders relaxed, and hands at your sides. Your upper body should have a slightly forward lean, and your feet should land directly underneath your body. As you pump your arms, keep them at a 90-degree angle and swing them front to back, not across your body.
Avoid overstriding or reaching out too far with your front foot. This may put unnecessary stress on the joints. Instead, take shorter strides and focus on a midfoot strike.
Before running, you will need to warm up with light aerobic activity and dynamic stretching. This will help prepare your muscles for physical activity and reduce your risk of injury.
A good warmup should last at least ten minutes and gradually increase your heart rate. After your warmup, do some dynamic stretching.
Examples of dynamic stretches include:
- Leg swings
- High-knee marching
- Butt kicks
- Arm circles
- Tricep dips
5. Listen to Your Body
Throughout your run, it’s essential to listen to your body and be aware of any pain or discomfort you may be feeling. Running through the pain can lead to further injuries. If you experience any pain, take a break and walk it off. If the pain persists, consult a doctor or physical therapist.
6. Cool Down
A proper cooldown can be just as essential as a good warmup. After running, take some time to cool down with light aerobic activity and static stretching. Gradually cooling down will help your heart rate and breathing return to normal.
Don’t forget to replenish the fluids you lost during your run and eat a healthy snack or meal afterward. By following these tips, you can help prevent running injuries and have an enjoyable, safe experience.
Contact Motion Orthopaedics
By taking the proper precautions, you can help prevent running injuries. However, running injuries can sometimes be unavoidable. If you suffer from a running or any other sports-related injury, Motion Orthopaedics may be able to help.
Our team of experienced physicians is dedicated to providing comprehensive care for all of our patients. From weekend warriors to elite athletes, Motion Orthopaedics is here to help you get back to optimal function. Book an appointment today to see how we can help you.