The countdown is on! You were supposed to have your summer body ready by now, but things like Easter and rainy spring days may have thrown your diet and exercise routine off. How do you quickly get in shape now?
You might think running is the answer, and while it is an extremely effective fat burning method, running isn’t as easy to start doing as you think. Doing it wrong might leave you injured and stuck on the couch, unable to work on your summer body before your beach vacation! So, check out our tips on how to start running while preventing injuries.
How To Prevent Common Running Injuries
Start off slow. Some people think they can hit the streets and run 3 miles or do some awesome sprinting on day one. While that’s awesome if you can, that isn’t the case for most people. You have to get your body and cardiovascular system prepared to run.
Your joints have tons of ligaments that need to be strong in order to absorb the impact of running, so start off by taking it easy. Do a light jog or beginners running program that alternates jogging and walking to strengthen your muscles and ligaments. Be sure to never add more than 5 minutes to your running routine a week.
Also, hit the gym. You glutes, calves, quads, hamstrings, and more need to be strong enough for running, so increasing their strength with weights and training exercises can help you prepare to become a runner.
Running is hard, obviously, but you can’t take the easy way out. Don’t skip out on stretching correctly, or at all. You need to do a gentle 5-minute jog or brisk walk to warm up and then stretch out. Then after your workout take the time to totally cool off before stretching again.
Having tight calves or hamstrings can quickly lead to shin splints or muscle sprains. Plus, stretching your muscles out right after a workout, before they’re cool, can cause them to tear.
You may be extremely determined to get your body in shape, and we applaud your motivation, but you can’t skip rest days. You need to give your body time to heal and recover in order to get stronger and prevent future injuries.
Never run through pain. A tweak or aching knee may seem like nothing at first, but if left ignored they could come back with a vengeance. Never hesitate to ice something to reduce inflammation but don’t self-diagnose the problem. Talk to your doctor before wearing a brace or taking any further measures. Also, take it easy for a day or two by cross training with a bike or elliptical.
Your body needs to be able to support your activities, and that comes with proper hydration, nutrition, and enough calories for energy. Drink more than 8 cups of water a day, make healthier choices with fruits and veggies, and simply eat enough! Under eating will leave you too weak to function.
You need comfortable and supportive shoes to support your feet and joints. Shoes that are too big or small can create havoc. If you aren’t sure what shoes to get go to a professional at a running store to be analyzed for your perfect fit and style.
Watch your posture. Stand tall with your shoulders back because leaning forward or hunching over can put extra stress on your knees. Also lead with your hips, not your feet or knees to avoid putting extra stress on your legs. Your stride should be kept at a medium length to avoid overextending your legs, and you should relax your arms and swing them straight, back and forward, not across your body to stabilize your core.
Enjoy Your Run
Running can be the key to shedding extra pounds but be sure to start off slow and add in some cross training and weight training to build strength. With the right shoes, proper technique, and training program you’ll be a confident runner with a rocking summer bod before you know it.
For more health tips visit HealningRadiusPro.com and please share your running tips in the comment section below.
Allison Barfield is a content writer for Span Enterprises and has been writing since she first learned to hold a pencil, shortly after birth. After graduating from the University of South Carolina in 2013 with a B.A. in media arts she fell in love with marketing. She's been copy writing and managing multiple blogs ever since.