Running is a great exercise; it can boost your mood, help you shed some weight, and improve your overall well-being.
However, just like any other physical activity, it comes with its own risks of injury. Because it is high-impact in nature, it can put a lot of stress on one’s joints, particularly the knees. As a result, many people are forced to stop running due to discomfort or pain.
Those who experience knee pain can get treatment. There are clinics in Long Beach and anywhere in the United States that can examine your joints and provide appropriate treatment to get you running again. To prevent injuries, here are a few things you need to do:
Get the Right Shoes
Many are skeptical that the shoes you wear can have a significant effect on your running. Although no shoes can obviously make you as fast as Usain Bolt, the right pair can stop you from feeling any discomfort or pain.
Choose running shoes that support the natural shape of your feet. Everybody is different, so it is best to talk to a running or sports store to get your gait assessed and determine what kind of support you need.
A good pair of shoes will be able to diffuse the impact when you run which reduces the stress that your joints go through.
It is easy to forget your form when you are busy trying to reach the next mile, but it might be the culprit that is behind your discomfort. By leaning slightly forward, you are moving the bulk of your weight from your knees to your hips. This reduces the impact of running to your knees, therefore, preventing pain. When running, flex more in the area around your hips. Angle your torso at seven to 10 degrees.
Lessen Your Stride
You might be overstriding or swinging your foot forward too much. That also causes knee pain. When you reach too much forward, you likely will have to slam your foot down to brake. As a result, the force from the impact goes straight to your feet and up your knees. Moreover, overstriding is increasing your risk of injury.
You need to supplement your running with a bit of strength training. Every week, make sure to dedicate a few hours to gain muscles in areas of your body that matter.
Do a plank (which engages your core, lower back, and shoulders), squats (glutes, quads, hamstrings, lower back), and russian twists (core, obliques) among other exercises. These will improve your balance and give you the strength to prevent injuries and improve your overall performance.
Watch What You Eat
Any athlete will tell you that the food you eat will have an impact on your overall performance. Whether you are trying to join a marathon or simply want to get more physical activity in your daily life, your diet is important when running.
There are certain nutrients that you need in order to maintain healthy muscles and joints. For runners, experts recommend consuming 1,100 to 1,300 milligrams of calcium every day. You get calcium from dairy products, including milk and cheese. You also need omega-3 fatty acids which you typically get from certain fishes. These nutrients are good for addressing inflammation in your joints.
However, perhaps, the most important tip to prevent knee pain and other injuries is to listen to your body. If something hurts, maybe it is time to take a break. Ignoring the discomfort or pain your feel may lead you to suffer from more serious consequences later on.