Spring is here! As we all wake up from our wintertime hibernation, many of us will get out and start running. If over the winter months you have not been active, or often times even if you have, people will develop pain from running. Today I want to talk about some of the ways you can help mitigate or even prevent the pain associated with running.
1. Scale Your Routine Based on Your Activity Level
The first thing to take into consideration is where you are at in your activity level and scale appropriately. If before winter you where running 3 miles on a run, but you haven’t run for several months, make sure that you scale down appropriately and gradually transition back to where you were. While this might seem like common sense, it is a mistake many people make when starting up activity again. Even if a person’s body seems be ready to pick up where it left off, it is always recommended to slowing scale back up to where you where.
The second tip people often miss is stretching appropriately. With any activity, mobility is very important to maintain proper muscular tension but this is especially so with running. The current research says that it is best to warm up with a dynamic stretch (something where you’re moving) like leg swings, butt kickers, or calf pulls. After your run, spend at least ten minutes doing static stretching. This is a commonly overlooked cool down and helps to reduce soreness and keep your flexibility.
Hydration is also very important, especially in the summer months. When we get dehydrated our blood thickens and healing slows. This can have a big impact on our recovery time and how our body responds to the stress of running. Essentially, if you are not properly hydrated, you will be more sore for longer and be more susceptible to future injury.
Finally, make sure your joints and nervous system are in order. If you’re wondering how to do that, here’s a hint. CHIROPRACTIC! Chiropractic care is a great way to make sure you get the most performance out of your body and prevent injuries. At Active Life we utilize a functional exam that is great for athletes to find any problems before they might start, or to better identify problems that may already be present. If you have any questions feel free to contact us at (573) 250-7427.