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Staying Healthy and Injury-Free While Running

Half of all runners suffer an injury during their lifetime while engaging in this activity. Often, these injuries affect the lower half of the body. However, these injuries don’t need to occur. With the proper information, every runner can significantly reduce their risk of injury. Keep the following in mind when engaging in this sport to avoid being sidelined.  

Warm Up 

Always warm up before running. People often assume this means starting at a slow jog and building up speed. However, it is best to do slow, sustained stretches, focusing on the thighs and calves, before jogging or running. In addition, dynamic stretches prevent injuries. This includes walking lunges, high knees, and butt kicks. Do a combination of dynamic and stretch-and-hold stretches. This helps to loosen the body before a run and reduces the risk of an injury. If an injury does occur, consider physical therapy for runners

Stay Hydrated

Muscle cramps plague many runners. Dehydration increases the risk of these cramps, and running can deplete electrolytes in the body. Anyone who is dehydrated prior to running increases their risk of developing muscle cramps. Potassium is a crucial electrolyte, as it helps the muscles relax after they contract. When potassium levels are low, the hamstrings, quads, and calves may cramp. This can make it difficult to continue, and this risk increases when the runner sweats. Drink plenty of water to reduce the risk of this happening. If you need to rehydrate quickly, a Riverside drip IV can replenish vitamins and restore your body’s normal fluid levels. Treatments typically take 30 – 45 minutes and can kick-start your post-workout recovery.

The Right Footwear

The right pair of running shoes starts with a gait analysis. People have different running styles, and this analysis lets the salesperson know what portion of the foot strikes the ground first and how the foot moves through the motion. If the gait is somehow off, the runner is more likely to slip and fall, but the right shoes can prevent this from happening. Visit a store that offers this gait analysis to learn which style of shoe should be purchased to reduce the risk of an injury. 

Track Mileage

Every runner should track their mileage. This gives them a sense of accomplishment when they see how far they have come since they started running, but also lets them know when it is time to invest in a new pair of shoes. A runner’s risk of injury increases significantly when they wear worn-out shoes. In addition, they will find they experience more pain in their hips, knees, and ankles. Replace the shoes every 300 to 500 miles. Smaller people typically find they can get close to 500 miles. Taller, heavier individuals often need to replace their shoes around the 300-mile mark.

Get Plenty of Sleep

Sleep is essential, as it gives the body time to recover after a run. Sleep deprivation interferes with this recovery. Muscles break down at the cellular level during a run. When the runner sleeps, the body repairs the cells. In addition, when a person doesn’t get enough sleep, they are more at risk of getting an infection because the lack of sleep affects their immune function. A person needs to get enough sleep or their body will force them to after an injury or illness. 

Runners often assume injuries are a normal part of this activity, but they don’t have to be. With these tips, any person can reduce their risk of getting hurt while engaging in an activity they love. If more help is needed, reach out to the professionals. They will be happy to help you in any way they can. 

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