It’s Running Season! Tips to Prevent Running Injuries
10 May 2019
It’s now Spring; time to lace up those running shoes and start to enjoy this beautiful sunny weather! Running and walking are great ways to get exercise and enjoy the outdoors but they can lead to pain and injuries if you’re not careful. It can be tempting to just jump right back into it but many of us aren’t as active during the long cold winters so it is even more important to warm up and cool down properly. Proper stretching is key, whether you are going out for a light jog, 5k or doing a marathon dynamic and static stretching are a must.
Before a run: you want do be doing DYNAMIC stretches- those involving moving through a range of motion such as:
- Walking Lunges: Begin standing with your feet shoulder width apart and your hands on your hips. Step forward with one leg, bend both knees and drop your hips. Descend until your rear knee touches or nearly touches the ground. Your posture should remain upright, and your front knee should stay above the front foot. Then switch legs while walking forward.
- Squat Jumps: Start by doing a regular squat, then engage your core and jump up explosively. When you land, lower your body back into the squat position to complete one rep. Land as quietly as possible and try to keep control of the movement.
- Hip Circles: Begin standing on one foot and hold onto something to keep your balance with one arm. Raise the other leg up to 90 degrees and rotate the hip in a clockwise and then counter-clockwise direction. Then switch legs.
- Cossack Squats: Start with your legs about two shoulder lengths apart. Descend most of your weight onto one leg while keeping the other leg out and straight to the side. Alternate back and forth while trying to keep the feet in the same spot.
3 sets of 10 reps of each of these on each side is generally a good warm up!
After a run: you want to do STATIC stretches- where you hold one stretch in place for a sustained period of time such as:
- Calf Stretch: Stand facing a wall from several feet away. Stagger your stance, placing one foot forward. Lean forward and rest your hands on the wall, keeping your heel, hip and head in a straight line. Attempt to keep your heel on the ground as you lean forward into the wall.
- Hamstring Stretch: Stand with the leg to be stretched just in front of the other one. Bend the back knee and lean forward from the hips. Place your hands on the bent leg’s thigh, to balance yourself. If you can’t feel a stretch, lean further forwards or tilt your pelvis forwards.
- Quad Stretch: Stand on one leg and pull the other leg up to the glutes with one or both hands. Try to keep your knees together and push your hips forward to increase the stretch.
All of these should be held for about 30 seconds on each leg.
By: Dr. Shannon Bloch, DC
Photo by Gesina Kunkel on Unsplash