Staying Safe While Working Out
Running is a great way to get in shape, but it can also lead to injuries. Knowing about common injuries and how to prevent them can keep you on track toward reaching your fitness goals. Experts recommend the following strategies to prevent injuries:
Identify your running goals. If you want to improve cardiovascular fitness, you should run at a quick pace to maximize your heart rate. If you're running to lose weight or reduce body fat, it's better to run at a slower rate for a longer time. Depending on your goal, your healthcare provider or personal trainer may decide that a modest walking or jogging program is appropriate. Setting goals helps you follow a safe pace and keeps you from overexertion, which can result in injury.
Have a physical evaluation. Certain health problems may hamper your running performance and increase your risk for injury. Specifically, osteoporosis, arthritis, and other degenerative joint diseases can increase your injury risk. If you have any significant health issues, you should discuss these with your provider before you start to run.
Warm up before you run and stretch after you run. Doing so can prevent some of the most common injuries. It's most important to stretch muscles that move your leg and ankle joints. These include the calf muscle, which moves the knee and ankle, and the hamstring, which moves the knee and hip. Walk or gently jog for five minutes. Cool down at the same pace for another five minutes at the end of your run.
Wear the correct shoes. Buy running shoes at an athletic store, where a sales clerk
can help you choose a shoe that fits your foot type. This can help prevent injuries
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