Whether you’ve recently taken up running as a way to stay active, or you have been running for years, it’s important to remember that running – like any sport – can have physical risks. Running engages many of your body's muscles, and any slight hiccup in a run can result in injury.
These injuries can either mean having to cut back on your activity or having to stop running completely until they heal. To avoid setbacks and stay in tip-top shape, check out these tips for preventing injuries while running.
Improve your flexibility
Many runners sprain or strain their muscles because their body isn't loose and limber enough. In order to give your muscles the room they need to stretch without causing injury, add flexibility exercises into your normal workout routine.
These exercises can consist of stretches that address each tight area of your body. Try to do these stretches prior to every run you take. You can also start doing activities like yoga. Yoga is great at improving flexibility and balance, as well as creating a calm and mentally focused state of mind.
Wear the right shoes
You can get an injury while running just from the type of footwear you’re wearing. If your shoe doesn't fit properly, you're more likely to land on your foot incorrectly and cause your ankle to roll inward.
This inversion of the ankle causes over 80% of all ankle sprains. Not only can ankle sprains send you to an urgent care clinic for treatment, but they can stop you from running for weeks at a time.
To prevent this, make sure the shoe fits your foot snugly in the heel and leaves a little wiggle room around the toes. Be sure to test the fit while wearing the socks you normally wear while running, or else you may find that the shoes are suddenly tighter or looser than they were in the store.
Remember to maintain your shoes properly as well. You should replace them about every 400 to 600 miles, or roughly every six months if you run regularly.
Listen to your body
There's no better way to prevent injuring your body than to simply listen to it. You know your body better than anyone, so you're the best person to tell yourself to take it easy.
If you're feeling sluggish or run down one day, it might be a good idea to reduce the time or distance you were planning on running. Don't hesitate to take some time off from running to rest, too. By taking time off every week, you can avoid injuries and fatigue that can occur when you push yourself too hard. With this rest, your body will be much healthier in the long run.
By using these tips, you'll be able to get the exercise you love while keeping your body safe from injury. You can also speak with your doctor or medical provider before you start a training regimen that accompanies your running routine. They can suggest additional ways to prevent injury and address any possible limitations you may have.
If you get injured
If you do suffer a sprain, strain or other minor injury from running, visit your neighborhood Immediate Clinic for a diagnosis and treatment plan. Our clinics even have onsite X-ray if you need it.
Book an appointment time online to reserve your spot, and learn more about the extra precautions we have in place to keep you safe when you visit.