Running can be very hard on your body due to the forces and types of muscles contractions involved. It can be even harder if you are a large or heavy-set person. If you are planning on continuing to run on a regular basis, here are some tops to protect joints to help you run longer.
Take Rest Days
On your rest days, usually one to two days per week, you should not impact your joints at all to give your joints a rest. It is wise to remember that you are weaker after a workout and will only get stronger through proper recovery.
Train in Two to Three Day Cycles
If you train in two to three day cycles with a “recovery” workout in between, your body will better adapt to the stress of training. This rest and recovery period/workout is best when scheduled after an increase in weekly mileage.
Avoid Cambered, Hard Surfaces
As much as possible, train on dirt trails and stay off paved roads. If you are running on a track, warm up going clockwise, and cool down going counterclockwise so you are not continually turning in the same direction. Try to find lightly cambered roads if you have to run on asphalt, and definitely avoid cement surfaces.
Maintain Proper Form/Cadence
Try to avoid overstriding, which can contribute to impact related injuries. To prevent overstriding, it is suggest that you maintain approximately 160 foot strikes per minute. Elite runs have a stride rate of 180 and above.
Stretch, Stretch, and Stretch Some More
Long, supple muscles can alleviate the pressure and wear on the joints, so ensure that your muscles are not stiff is very important to overall physical fitness. Additionally, increasing your balance is important, especially as you age.
Wear the Correct Shoes
Wearing the best running shoe is particularly important to those who may have conditions such as arthritis, are bow-legged or other similar issues. It is advised that you work with a podiatrist to find the best shoes and even inserts to provide protection to your joints. Also, try not to run or workout in worn down shoes, as you need the proper support provided by your shoes.
Don’t Ignore Injuries or Signs of Over-Worked Joints
Don’t ignore any type of injury. Seek medical treatment as soon as possible, and follow all instructions for recovery, including any physical therapy. Ignoring injuries can lead to structural and/or biomechanical imbalances that can lead to joint degeneration
Joint protection is so important to not only runners, but also most athletes. ZeroPoint Compression realizes how important these tips to protect joints to help you run longer as well as maintaining overall joint health. Should you have any questions about these tips, please feel free to contact one of our knowledgeable staff.