Running is a good way to lose weight, gain strength, and reach your health and wellness goals. Running is also a good exercise because it can give you a chance to get outside and breathe fresh air and get some sunlight. Even though running seems simple, there are things you can do to be a better runner whether you’re just starting out after physical therapy or you’ve been running for years. Learning these keys to better running will help you get healthy on the run and better navigate the Peoria area. Staying safe and healthy while you do it is important and will keep you happy.
When you’re a runner, your shoes are the most important equipment you have. That’s why it’s important to make sure you have the right running shoes for your goals and for your particular body. It can be tempting to put on any shoes you have, especially when you’re just starting. But if you don’t have the right running shoes, you’re at higher risk for pain and injury. A shoe store that specializes in running shoes can help you find the best running shoe for your needs.
Another of the keys to better running in the Arizona desert isn’t about what you do while you run. It’s about what you do before and after running. Running is exercise. Just like you shouldn’t go to the gym and start lifting heavy weights right away, you shouldn’t start running without warming up your body and loosening your muscles. Take a few minutes to stretch before you start running. Stretch your arms and legs and start your routine with a little walking to get your body moving and blood flowing. Stretching before you run can help prevent cramps and injuries once you’re on your run. Most people also don’t know that it is great for your body to do a post-stretch routine as well. Once you’ve completed your run, get a nice stretch in and your hamstrings will thank you for it. Physical Therapy is a great preventative resource to learn more.
When thinking about the keys to better running, taking your time is often overlooked. It can be tempting to start out running fast and long distances. But if you’re just starting out as a runner, you have to get your body used to the exercise. Don’t try to do too much all at once. If you do, you can injure yourself and then you won’t be able to run at all until you heal. Let yourself ease into running. Start by running slow and shorter distances. The weather can also play a big factor so try to schedule your runs accordingly taking into account the summer heat in Arizona. As you build endurance and strength, you can keep challenging yourself to run faster or longer (or both!). Be sure to monitor your activity and even keep track of some goals you have with associated timelines you have in mind.
In any exercise regimen, rest days are important. They give your body a chance to recover from your exercise routines so you don’t overdo it. Just like stretching and taking your time, rest days can help keep you from getting injured. After all, if you skip rest days and end up with an injury, you’ll have to take time off to heal. Rest days from running can also be good days for gentle cross-training so you can be sure to work all your muscle groups, even if running around Peoria is your primary exercise.
It’s a good idea to talk to your doctor before you start any exercise regimen. You should get a check-up to make sure you don’t have any conditions that would prevent you from running. Your doctor can also give you advice about how to start your running regimen safely to reduce the risk of injury and can also refer you to a specialist like a physical therapist. You can also learn about warning signs that you need to take a break from running or when you should go to the doctor if you do have pain or an injury from running like an ACL injury.
The most important of the keys to better running is to listen to your body whenever you run. If you’re pushing yourself too hard, your body will let you know. That doesn’t mean you should stop running every time it gets hard. But when you listen to your body, you’ll know when to take it easy so you don’t injure yourself.
Whether you’re just starting out running or you’ve been doing it for years, these keys to better running can help you stay safe in Peoria while you get healthy. You don’t have to be perfect to run but when you use these keys, you can improve your running skills to achieve your health and wellness goals. For more information about using running for exercise safely, contact us today at Desert Edge Physical Therapy for a free consultation.