Updated: Oct 2
Running is an excellent form of cardio but can put a lot of strain on our lower body. Random pain when running can ruin a workout and decrease the amount of time we put into our exercise routine. When we run, we are putting an increased amount of pressure on the feet and joints. Preparing ourselves for that type of impact is important to prevent injury and eliminate pain.
Mental stress not only wears on us emotionally but also inhibits adequate performance physically. This is especially true when it comes to depression. According to studies, depression can decrease tissue repair after an intense workout. A good mood helps with pain management and makes exercise more enjoyable.
Sleep is crucial for proper recovery, so our muscles can heal. If you are not sleeping 6 to 8 hours a night, then your body is unable to tolerate the impact when running.
Meditation is recommended to help ease the mind of mental stressors and promote relaxation. Incorporate breathing exercises to give your body needed oxygen, clear your mind, and be in the moment. Meditate at the end of the day to promote a calm environment and prepare you for a good night’s sleep.
Proper body mechanics
Clinicians know it is important to bend at the knees and sit up straight to protect our backs. When running, body mechanics are just as important. Turning the hips can put pressure on the joints and cause alignment issues on other parts of the body such as the knees.
Do not run with your back hunched over and keep your hips straight to reduce pressure on the joints. Make sure to face forward and land heel first.
Warming up the muscles prior to physical activity helps to prevent injury and prepare the body for intense exercise. Being that running requires a lot of movement, the joints need to be slowly introduced for better performance.
Yoga is a wonderful way to warm up the body and prepare it for strenuous exercise. The combination of stretching and simple exercises increases blood flow to muscles. This will prevent stiffness of the joints allowing for a longer run.
Strength training Increases muscle mass, especially in lower body. Strength in the legs and hips will increase bone density and improve endurance. Our legs, hips and feet are taking all the pressure when we run. To be able to handle all the impact without pain, they need to be strong.
Light dumbbells used for lower body exercises, such as lunges and squats, will add intensity building muscle strength. Barre workouts incorporate cardio movements and strength training exercises targeting every muscle.
Proper footwear helps decrease the force of the foot hitting the ground, provides arch support, and assists with proper body alignment. Running is done on several hard surfaces, including sidewalks and roads. Running shoes help to decrease the force felt in the feet so we can run longer without discomfort or injury.
Random aches and pains felt when running shorten our workout significantly. By caring for our body and properly preparing it for an intense workout, we are better able to perform vigorous exercise with no consequences.