Now that warmer weather is here and we’re wearing lighter clothing, you might choose to take up running or jogging. Whether running outdoors or on a treadmill, let’s avoid injury. Here are our top ten tips for beginner runners, and even seasoned runners sometimes need a reminder about the basics of healthy running.
- Check in with a medical professional. Consult a physician before embarking on strenuous athletic activity to ensure you have no existing health issue that interferes with running. Any one of the five podiatrists at our Advanced Foot Care Centers can examine you and give advice, e.g. excessively pronated ankles that turn inward require a particular fit of running shoe.
- Set a sensible goal. Do you want to lose weight? Enter a race in three months? How often can you go for a jog, e.g. twice a week for 30 minutes? Give yourself a reasonable amount of time to reach your goal.
- Keep a running log. Maintain a written record of your running activity. You’ll learn a lot about optimizing your performance by reviewing your experiences periodically.
- The footwear must fit. Shoes and socks can cause discomfort and injury if they are too loose or too tight. Use more than one pair of running shoes in rotation to ensure proper airing and drying.
- Stretch yourself. Proper stretching exercises before and after your run can keep your muscles limber and prevent aches.
- Pay attention as you run. Educate yourself about the optimum number of steps you need to take per minute (cadence), and changes in your steps as you accelerate. Count your heartbeat to compare your heartrate before, during and after exercise. Our podiatry practice can show you how!
- Proper diet and hydration are essential to your health. Consult a medical professional for diet and hydration habits best suited for your particular state of health before you embark on a running program.
- Stay regular. To maximize your fitness, maintain a stable exercise routine. You know your schedule best, so make your plan and then stick to it.
- Add weight training, yoga or other routines. Strengthen your muscles through additional kinds of exercise. Your feet, ankles and legs will thank you.
- Enjoy yourself!
If you fear injuring yourself, or are experiencing pain in your lower leg, ankle or foot, talk to a podiatrist for accurate diagnosis, treatment and prevention advice. An untreated running injury can create additional health problems, so contact us right away by phone or online appointment request. Our Advanced Foot Care Centers podiatry practice has six locations in our communities in Tennessee (Hixson and Chattanooga) and North Georgia (Ft. Oglethorpe and Dalton). One of our five foot specialists will discuss your concerns and ensure you receive all appropriate treatment and prevention information. Then: let’s run with it!