Running is one of the most common sports activities of today and there are plenty of benefits from it. Running can improve your health by increasing lung function and boosting your immune system, lowering your risk of blood clots, it can prevent disease, help you lose weight, and even help mentally and emotionally by boosting confidence, relieving stress, and even eliminate depression. But despite all these benefits, if you don’t have the proper running form, you could potentially cause an injury that may even prevent you from running at all.
Some of the most common injuries from running include runner’s knee, Achilles tendonitis, hamstring issues, plantar fasciitis, shin splints, iliotibial band syndrome, and stress fractures. While some of these you can generally run through at an easier pace, most of them can be very debilitating and as in the case of stress fractures, keep you for weeks to months of no running. Some home treatments combined with physical therapy can help to alleviate the pain and injury as well as get you back to your running schedule sooner, but it is important to see your doctor as soon as you notice a change in your discomfort level and NOT to push through the pain.
With all that said there are good, simple components to good running form, which can help to prevent any injuries sustained while running. These include:
- Flexibility: Stretch even a few minutes each day to keep muscles, ligaments, and tendons flexible to avoid limiting your range of motion and decrease the chance of injury due to muscle pulls.
- Good Posture: Keep your head level with eyes forward not down, keep shoulders relaxed and level, arms at a 90 degree angle swinging mostly forward and back not across your body, and your torso comfortably upright and straight.
- Good leg motion: Don’t use too long of a stride, land your feet under you rather than in front of you. Keep your knees bent at 90 degrees while going at a good medium pace.
- Ankles/Feet: Push off the ground with maximum force, landing on mid-foot and rolling forward. Your feet should not slap loudly hitting the ground, run light and avoid pounding the ground.
- Cadence: When you run, you want to spend the least amount of time on your legs as possible. The more time your foot spends on the ground the more energy your legs expend to support your body weight. Strive to maintain a cadence of 85-90 strides per minute with each leg. Using a metronome can help regulate your cadence.
- Good breathing habits: When your breath is shallow, you only use the very upper part of your lungs and don’t use total lung capacity. Use “belly breathing” which is using the abdominal area to expand and contract as if you’re breathing in and out of a balloon.
- Stay Relaxed: Tense muscles restrict range of motion in the arms and legs making it harder to run. Relax, be aware, and keep it easy.
We treat running injuries in the Clermont 34711 area!