Running is a great way to get you heart rate up, burn calories, and strengthen your muscles, but health experts say there are things you may be doing while you run that could be causing you more harm than good.
Kath Kinross, a physical therapist with Lee Health, says it’s important to warm up before you run. “Stretching really isn’t a warm up. Stretching where you’re actually holding the length for 30 seconds is going to be most beneficial after the activity when the muscles tend to want to shorten.”
After you stretch and warm up, Kinross say, make sure you pick a location that isn’t too hard on your joints. “If we can stay on more natural surfaces, that’s what the body is designed for.”
For beginners, experts recommend even surfaces like a sidewalk or treadmill. “If you’re going to do that make sure the road is quiet, well lit, and you are facing oncoming traffic,” said Kinross.
Another thing to consider is footwear. The wrong kind of shoes can cause pain in your hips, knees, feet, even lead to shin splints. Knowing how you run can help you pick the most appropriate shoe. “I think at the moment we tend to go towards very heavily cushioned shoes so we might be seeing that be a bit more of a problem. Realistically the foot is designed to land a bit more on our fore feet,” said Kinross.
If you’re having pain while you run try a different shoe and take note of how your feet land while you run. “Some people run on their toes, some people land more on their heels, other people have a tendency for the foot to turn inwards,” said Kinross.
Keeping your eyes up, shoulders down, and goals within reach, can help you develop a strong and comfortable run.
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Lee Health in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of health care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For more than 100 years, we’ve been providing our community with personalized preventative health services and primary care to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Lee Health - Caring People. Inspiring Care.