An Orthopedics’ 5 Step Guide to Avoiding Running Injuries

Stay Hydrated

Staying hydrated throughout the day is one of the most important things that you can do for your body. When your body has enough fluid, it functions better and can prevent a running injury. When you drink enough water, your muscles work better, your heart works better, your blood vessels work better and your blood itself is smoother and more easily flows throughout your body.

All muscles, organs, joints, and everything else in human anatomy depend on fluid in order to function optimally. Attaining proper hydration levels will help everything from your toes, to the top of your head and everything in between.

The Mayo Clinic recommends that you aim for 11.5 cups of water per day for women and 15.5 per day for men, rather than the eight cups per day that you have likely heard all of your life.

Wear the Right Running Shoes

One of the ways to prevent a walking or running injury before they start is to pay attention to what is on your feet. Before starting a regular running routine, it is critical that you choose the correct footwear. Running and walking injuries are common and much of the time, they could have been avoided if a proper running injury prevention routine had been put in place.

This routine includes starting slowly and building up to certain levels of activity, particularly if you have spent most of your life sedentary. Strengthen and stretch the muscles, and wear shoes that are supportive in the places that your individual feet need support.

Improve Your Flexibility

Increasing flexibility is more than simply stretching the muscles. The joints such as the knee and ankle are included in flexibility with how much range of motion that they allow you. Flexibility of joints will increase naturally the more you move your body.

When isolating specific muscles to be stretched, make sure that you warm-up first. Stretching alone is not a warm-up activity and can actually cause injury if the muscles are not properly warmed up. Walk or perform another form of cardiovascular activity for a few minutes before you stretch, or stretch AFTER your workout. This will help to prevent injury and increase flexibility.

Build Up Your Stamina

START SLOW! If your knees and ankles are not used to walking or running 5 miles a day, don’t start with that much. You may avoid many injuries if you allow your body, all of your muscles and joint, to acclimate to the increased exercise.

If it is a goal of yours to build up a regular walking or running routine, avoid injury by letting your body adapt to movements that it is not used to.

Take Time to Rest and Recover

Nothing can heal without rest. This doesn’t just pertain to injury. A workout in which you did not injure yourself still stressed your body and perhaps tore muscle fibers. (This is a good thing as long as it doesn’t cause pain, the muscle fibers heal stronger after exercise and that is how you build strength!)

Your body needs to recover from this non-injurious state in order to build strength and stamina. If you don’t allow for the healing process to take place by resting enough, you are almost guaranteed to be injured.

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