Luckily, most are extremely avoidable.
In the case of running, simple preventative measures can help you avoid serious injuries that would otherwise impair your ability to keep running stronger for longer.
Warm ups are not designed to frustrate you because they keep you from your run. They are there to increase the blood flow throughout your body so that when you go to quickly lengthen and extend your muscles, they don’t tear or stretch too fast. They are there to prevent running injuries.
A good warm up uses both light cardio and stretching to get the body fully limber. Try simply walking for a few minutes before you get up to a jog, or even do a few laps of high knees, jumping jacks, and other ways to warm up your body.
As running requires a lot of moving on your feet, it’s imperative to find shoes that actually fit and provide the correct support for your feet, knees, ankles, and other joints. If you’re at a loss as to what proper support is, head over to your local orthopedic care center.
Most physical therapy centers will be more than happy to discuss the ins and outs of the various shoes sold for running and how they will fit on your body. The better you protect your feet, the longer you’ll be able to run.
Water is an essential component of our bodies. Without it, we would die within only three days. In our bodies, it is involved with every major function. From cushioning our joints, to washing out waste products that form during exercise, not drinking enough water is highly detrimental to runners, especially because of how much you lose through sweat during your outing.
Make sure you are properly hydrated before and after every run. If you plan to go for a long distance, bring along a water bottle in a pouch.
You could run hunched over, or you could run with a straight back. You could overextend your legs, or practice healthy strides. In the end, only the correct form will keep you safe from the large majority of injuries.
When talking about “form” remember, the body should be held so that the muscles received the strain, not the bones or joints.
Muscles have evolved to be able to take pressure and grow stronger because of it. Bones, on the other hand, break while joints become worn down. Talk to a physical therapist if you have questions about your own form.
Common running injuries are only common because the majority of people don’t understand the importance of these simple basics.
From proper hydration to a full warm up, there’s a reason why when professionals go on a run, they spend a little less time running and a little more time preparing.
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. Places like Tadje Orthopaedics, a Boise sports injuries clinic, can help with more advice on running form. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.