If you’re a runner, you’re aware that pounding the pavement can be taxing on your body. Any injury, from shin splints to a runner’s knee, can destabilize your training and set you back in your fitness routine. For serious running-related injuries, some runners are never able to return to this healthy habit. Many doctors and sports nutritionists will tell you that you need the proper running footwear and surface, and they are correct. However, injuries from running can occur for a variety of reasons. Here are some other ways to avoid injury during your daily workout and ensure nothing gets in your way.
1. Understand Your Body
No active runner likes to take time off, but sometimes your body needs it. If you are feeling tired or not quite yourself, you are allowed to rest. Rest is good. You can’t always be putting strain on your body, so when it speaks, listen. Maybe all you need is to take it slower on that day than the rest. You will be able to continue your normal running routine much quicker and without longer gaps if you take the rest you need.
The worst thing is getting the flu and having to stop running altogether for an extended period. Many hardcore runners will continue to work out even if they are unwell. This is one of the worst things you can do because you may end up becoming extremely ill if you don’t take care of yourself at the first sign of any pain or discomfort.
2. Use the Power of a Good Warm-Up
You’ve probably heard it hundreds of times, but warming up and stretching before any extended physical activity is not only good advice, but necessary. Your body can’t be expected to run at optimal efficiency if you have been sitting for too long and your legs are stiff.
A good warm-up should be no less than 5 minutes and you should target all areas of your foot, ankle, and knee joints, and your hamstring and thighs. Include a cool down for a further 5 minutes at the end of your run to let your heart rate slow down and your muscles cool. When stretching, you need to feel your muscles pull and tighten, and your warm-up should be a slow walk or jog.
3. Try Low-Impact Cycling
If you are new to running, it is best not to go hard and heavy right off the bat. Even if you are an experienced runner, but have recently taken time off, you need to go slow in the beginning. One of the most common running-related injuries is when someone tries to push themselves too hard. If you are concerned about this, consider outdoor cycling. Using a bike can be very low-impact on your joints, which makes it a worthy investment. Even better, look into ebikes. These are essentially the same as a regular bicycle, but you have added support with a motor, controller, and battery to give an extra boost. It’s particularly gentle on your knees, and many senior citizens can easily scale hills. You will ride for much longer and won’t get exhausted as easily because your knees and hips are less stressed.
Ebikes can be quite expensive, though, and they are very much an asset, so be sure to insure your ebike. For comprehensive ebike insurance, consider Velosurance. They cover a wide range of bike insurance packages, including crash damage, theft, and loss. Velosurance offers 24-hour emergency roadside assistance, so you know you will be safe if your bike breaks down. Unlike most insurance companies, Velosurance will also cover a portion of your medical bills if you are injured on the road.
4. Go for a Checkup
Checkups are good, especially if you are very active. You may feel healthy and think you don’t need a doctor, but you can never be too safe. If you have been feeling more sluggish than usual and are worried about injuring yourself, go see your physician. There may be something more serious going on, and continuing to run will only worsen the issue.
Some people have problems running because of the way their joints and muscles move. It can be valuable to check on your instep and take a quick test to identify if your shoes are the issue. You may be pushing harder on your left leg than your right and need custom-made shoes. Perhaps any previous injuries were related to your hard soles and insufficient padding in your shoes.
Using these simple steps to manage your running routine will be easy, but remember not to ignore any pain or distress your body feels. To maintain a long-term exercise plan, you need to do it right and with caution. It is always better to check with your doctor regularly and to take rests often. You can continue to get the same level of workout if you choose to make small changes for the betterment of your health.