Running can be great way to stay fit and clear the mind of any stress. However, the act of running has a substanital impact on the body and commonly results in injuries in the lower back, hip, knee, ankle and under foot. This is because running can place up to 3 times your body weight through each step.
When going for a run it is essential that your body is organised correctly to ensure that your body is strong enough to support the movements that occur during your run. This means that you should make sure your body is positioned perfectly when you run and that your core stabilisers are strong. To ensure you run in the correct position it is worthwhile having a running assessment done by an exercise physiotherpist.
Running is all about being balanced in all planes, if any of the elements are out this could affect foot placement, body position, rotation, endurance and speed.To help maintain correct foot positioning and drive prior to running you should do some foot and ankle strengthening and positioning exercises such as walking drills and single leg balances.
Before you start your run it is always best to start with a warm up using dynamic stretches (no static stretching holds). This could include walking heel raises, walking lunges, standing leg swings and upper body rotations. During your run you should begin with a warm up pace and then build your run up to full pace for 80% of your run.
If you are someone who regularly runs more than 3 times a week, it is worthwhile changing your runners every 3 months to ensure that you are receiving the right amount of support from your shoes.
It is important to note that running is not the most effective way to lose weight. Running increases your fitness due to the cardio output, however, walking is much more conducive to weight loss as it targets a different metabolic rate. Think:
Walking = weight loss and a lower injury risk
Running = fitness with a higher injury risk
So next time you go for a run, make sure you warm up properly before hand and think about your body position whilst you are running to help prevent injury.
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