The fact that you’ve decided to take up jogging proves you are invested in your health and wellbeing. This is a great form of exercise that doesn’t cost much, works a variety of muscles, and is a great way to lose weight. Of course, as a new runner, you’re probably still learning. Starting out doing a marathon probably isn’t a safe or smart way to get going, but knowing a bit more about running, your body, and some common injuries can help you avoid problems. Below are some helpful tips to keep you safe and healthy and can be an important part of your overall wellness plan.
Make Sure You Have the Right Shoes
One of the benefits of choosing running is that there is very little equipment involved. Besides a pair of shorts and a t-shirt, you definitely need a good pair of running shoes. Those athletic shoes you’ve been wearing to run errands or to stand on the job might not be the best option for regular running. A good pair of running shoes is an investment every runner needs to make. Talk to other runners, especially those with similar feet or body types and see what they recommend. Yours should at least be able to tighten around your foot, and have some kind of arch support.
Warm Up Before You Start
Something as simple as making sure you warm up with a few jumping jacks can help prevent injuries, which can have a significant impact on your success and willingness to stick with any jogging schedule. After all, even a minor injury can set you back in your training regimen. Some common areas of weakness and injury include the ankles and knees. If you have constant pain, knee cracking, or back strains, a chiropractor in Charlotte NC says to visit a professional and ask about spine and alignment support.
Enlist Some Support
Find a friend or two (or more) to run with. You might even want to join a running group in your area. Not only will having other likeminded individuals in your running group help to keep you motivated and inspired, but it’s also safer to have a buddy with you when you’re running on busy road or around intersections.
Have a Plan
You might be tempted to just put on your running shoes and head out the door, but this is generally not the best approach. There are many plans to help you move from even the most sedentary lifestyle into a runner, but it takes time and a solid plan. Beginners often find success with an incremental walk/run regimen where the running portion gradually increases over time. Stick with your plan, and you’ll soon reach your running goals. Remember to give yourself breaks, rest days, and plenty of time to adjust.
Fuel Your Body
Your body needs fuel for your run, so make sure you have a pre-run snack about 90 minutes before you head out. Choose a snack with a little protein and complex carbs to give your body the energy it needs to help you through your run. If possible, see if a recovery protein drink or even chocolate milk might be a good option to help recovery after burning calories.
It’s important to keep your body well hydrated. About two hours before your run, drink approximately 20 ounces of water. Your body will have time to process the water before you head out for your run. If you’re running for more than 45 minutes, consider a sports drink to replenish lost electrolytes.
Taking up a running regimen is definitely a great step towards better health; however, heed these running tips to help keep you safe on your new journey.
Eileen O'Shanassy is a freelance writer and blogger based out of Flagstaff, AZ. She writes on a variety of topics and loves to research and write. She enjoys baking, biking, and kayaking. Check out her Twitter @eileenoshanassy. Visit here for more information on safe running techniques.