When people think of cardiovascular health, many people turn to running, partially due to the need for practically no equipment and due to the fact that people know how to do it, its something we’ve grown up doing in some capacity our entire lives. However, running is more than just lacing up a pair of sneakers and hitting the pavement, not only is there technique that helps with performance, there are things you can do to eliminate or reduce injuries as well as create a program that is effective, safe and easy to maintain.
Here are some easy to follow tips and tricks for if you’re new to the sport or if you looking to increase your performance:
- Don’t take on too much too quickly! For new runners, many bite off more than they can chew which leads to intense soreness, injury and discouragement. Try walking 2 minutes running one for the first week going a short distance (1-2 km) and increase from there – remember you should only increase distance by max 10% per week.
- Wait 2 hours after you eat to run! Give your body time to digest, reducing the risk of abdominal cramps, bloating and vomiting!
- Warm up! A dynamic warm up of a brisk walk, slow jog or even some skip rope, jumping jacks, high knees or arm circles gets the blood flowing and your body ready for the upcoming workout. This will greatly decrease the chance of injuries! Cooling down when your done with a brisk walk, focusing on breath will help with recovery after.
- Rest if you’re injured! Runners are crazy people, in that they tend to push through pain which can be good when trying to complete a race or event, but bad for injuries. If something hurts consistently for more than a couple days, take time off and see a health practitioner who can help get you back on your feet.
- Don’t run too fast if your aiming for distance. To achieve optimal speed and intensity for your body, you should be able to hold a conversation while running, if you cant, you’re going too hard, slow it down and slowly work up to a faster pace over months.
- Consume the right foods! After any long run to intense exercise, consume carbohydrates and proteins to help replenish what was lost during the workout and help with recovery! This should occur within an hour of finishing your activity.
- Cross Train. If you are planning on running any distance, training in other forms such a weights, biking, or swimming can help develop crucial strength needed to maintain your body while running. This is one of the most important steps for reducing the risk of injury.
- Wear the proper gear! Wearing shoes that are supportive enough for longer runs and replacing them when they are worn out is crucial to your health and injury prevention. Shoes should be replaced approx. every 700km. In cold weather, wear layers and in warm weather wear breathable clothing.
- Join a group. If you’re struggling to find motivation or even increase stamina – join a running club or group to help motivate and encourage you. Plus, they usually have coaches that can create a plan for you to follow.
- Enjoy yourself! Above all else – have fun, relax, destress and enjoy the great outdoors!
Getting regular therapy increases running times as well as preventing and maintaining injuries. Come see us for a consult! Happy running !
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