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Tips for Avoiding Running Injuries

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Keep These In Mind

Running is often a top choice of exercise for people who are looking to lose weight for a couple of reasons. First and usually foremost, it has great potential for burning calories; second, it doesn’t require a lot of complex equipment and because you don’t have to go to a gym or join a club to do it, it’s reasonably cheap.

The problem that a lot of people have when taking up running as their primary form of fitness activity is suffering an injury. Despite the fact running is a natural movement that people have been doing since the dawn of time, if you don’t approach it properly you can easily wind up with nagging injuries that will sideline you and severely inhibit you from reaching your weight loss goal.

Choose the Right Shoes

Nothing's more important than the shoes.

Though there are very few pieces of equipment required for this sport, if you opt for the wrong style of the most essential piece of equipment you are most certainly setting yourself up for injury. It’s not necessarily essential that you’ve purchase a pair of expensive running shoes from the top manufacturer to have a safe and effective workout, but it’s probably best to avoid going for a run in your work boots, wingtips or your sister’s high heels.

There are literally hundreds and hundreds of different options available when it comes to running shoes and the price can vary from just over thirty bucks all the way up to a few hundred depending upon the manufacturer. You can do a bit of research online to find top picks in different running shoe categories that will fit into the style of running that you plan on doing (trail, track, street, etc.) and your price range or you can simply hit up a running specialty store and get sound advice from a local running professional – just ensure that the shoes that you wind up with are comfortable and that they fit well.

Take it Slow

One of the major causes of running injuries stems from doing too much too soon. Running may be a completely natural activity, but that doesn’t mean that you can throw caution to the wind and run mile after mile, day after day. Like any fitness activity, you can easily overtrain on a running program and set yourself up for a host of unpleasant lower body pain and nagging injuries.

When you first begin a running program, the majority of your time “running” may actually be best spent split between walking and running until you can comfortably achieve the desired distance without breaks. In order to actually achieve your weight loss goals from a running program, you’ll need to stay healthy enough to keep getting out and running.

Increase the distances you cover slowly, by five to ten percent per week or so, and there’s no need to push yourself to run on consecutive days. Take adequate time between running workouts to ensure that your body has enough time to recover prior to the next session. If you feel sore, even if you’ve already taken a day off between runs, take another to be safe.

Don’t Neglect Other Areas of Your Body

Running is awesome for building cardiovascular endurance and melting excess fat, but it isn’t what you would consider a full body workout. On off days from running, take time to do some flexibility work and to work your core and upper body with weights or bodyweight exercise in order to create balance in your physique.

If you do happen to suffer a running injury, make sure to take the time to allow it to heal before diving back in. A minor injury can be easy to overcome with just a few days rest, but continuing to run on that injury can ultimately create serious problems that will require more than just rest, ice and aspirin to overcome.

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About Jeff Wilson

Jeff Wilson has been involved in some form of sports and athletic training for more than two decades: as an athlete, a trainer and a writer.

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