Running is a physical activity that has an immense health-boosting effect on its participants. It can also be strenuous on your muscles and joints, so following a few safety tips is essential to ensure you are not hurting yourself. It is important to start understanding how to run before you try hitting the roads, so here are some tips to get you off on the right foot.
Wear the Proper Running Shoes
No matter what type of running you are doing, you should always wear the proper running shoes. Running puts a lot of stress on your feet; without the right shoes, your feet will pay the price. Putting on any old pair of shoes could cause damage to your feet and joints. You don’t need to spend a lot of money on expensive running shoes. Picking a pair that has heel support, room in the toes, is fit properly to your foot and is designed for running will greatly improve your experience.
Keep your running stride short and compact. The best way to do this is by taking small steps that allow your feet to land on the ground with each step. Your stride should never be “sideways,” where you take shorter steps at an angle. Look at professional runners; you will see that they always have their feet directly over the ground in front of them when running. It is a great way to ensure you do not injure yourself by leaving your foot off the land for too long.
Wear the right clothes
Make sure to wear everything tight enough. If your clothes are too baggy, you will be straining your arms, legs, and joints to keep up with the fabric moving around. If your clothes are too tight, your body will be restricted from moving as freely as it should. The best way to dress for running is in light clothing with a bit of stretch.
Hydrate and refuel
While you are running, make sure to drink plenty of water or a sports drink to keep your energy up. If you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated and need fluids immediately. Suppose you cannot fit as much water or sports drink as before while still feeling parched; try other means of fluid intake, such as a fruit-water mix with added electrolytes. It would help if you also were taking in some fuel while running to help your body run for a long time without losing its ability to perform because it has nothing left to use for energy.
Exercise your core muscles
While running, your core muscles are doing all of the work. If you are not exercising and strengthening these muscles, then you will not be able to run for a long time without being out of breath. Your core, or abdominal muscles, are used daily and are essential in keeping your body healthy for the rest of your life. The power to the lower body is generated from the mighty powerhouse, the abdomen.
Warm up before you run
Before you start running, make sure that you gently stretch all of your muscle groups for about 10 minutes to warm them up. It is essential not to strain your muscles or tendons when running. You can also use a jog-in-place or walk routine to warm yourself up if you do not have time for a long stretching session.
Be aware of your surroundings
It’s easy to get in the zone while running and forget to check your surroundings. Make sure to watch for tripping hazards and be aware of traffic when crossing or running near roads. Avoid wearing headphones, as you may not hear a car. Remember the rules for pedestrians also apply to runners and with 6,000 pedestrian fatalities in 2017 alone, it is your responsibility to watch out for your own safety.
Running can improve your cardiovascular system, build muscle and even reduce stress. Running takes very little equipment or specialty gear and is an easily accessible exercise for many people. This has led to a great deal of interest in the sport in recent years. Preparing yourself to stay safe and avoid injury will help you be more successful with this new activity.