Rules of the Road: Getting the Most from Your Daily Run
By Dr. Molly Casey
Running is a favorite pastime for many. It was my main form of exercise for years and my love for it has never wavered. However, my body’s ability to handle the long runs and many miles decreased. Here is a bit of wisdom to keep any of you runners out there on the road logging miles for as long as you possibly can.
Runners and Injuries
If you’re a runner or know one who consistently likes lacing up those shoes and hitting the streets for the runner’s high, you also know injuries can be plentiful. At some point, runners will experience issues such as plantar fasciitis, ankle sprains, shin splints, stress fractures, knee pain, IT (iliotibial) band issues, hip pain and SI (sacroiliac) joint or low back pain. And those are just a few things. Sometimes injuries can feel more plentiful than miles and truly wear on your mental health, as well as your physical health. So what are your options to keep you on the road as long as possible?
This sport is one in which we can easily forget -- or convince ourselves -- that we don’t need the proper structure: You know, you can just lace up the shoes and off you go. Well, that’s the quickest way to injury right there. Keep these five tips in mind for a proper structure to your runs.
- Warm up - Do some walking or body weight squats and lunges; get the blood moving before you tear up the streets.
- Stretch, and get strong - This is such a common one to be overlooked. Make sure to implement a five- to 10-minute stretching routine every time you run. And do you know that getting into the gym and throwing some weights around to gain strength is a great way to increase your abilities on your run? It is. Stronger muscles will help with your endurance level and even speed. Take a quick look at this this article if you want to see some of the benefits of strength training for runners.
- Run with proper form and posture - Have you ever seen runners ascending hills while totally bent over and dragging? Yeah, that’s not doing much for the health of their spine or extremities. If you are at that point, you’ve gone past the finish line, at least for that run.
- Don’t forget to cool down - Walk and let your breath normalize, let your circulation adjust, and maybe add just a few more minutes of that stretching.
- Wear the right shoes - Absolutely do not skimp here. Your shoes are the cost of the sport, so invest wisely. Believe me, your body knows the difference between good equipment and bad, and it will tell you the difference.
Benefits of Chiropractic for Runners
The first thing to know is that taking care of yourself when you’re healthy, without injuries or symptoms, is by all means the best injury prevention. Proper biomechanics (alignment and movement of the skeletal system) is a key to staying injury-free. This means proper joint motion is imperative. As you hopefully know from reading this blog, a chiropractic adjustment restores joint motion, so it’s an excellent choice to decrease the chances of injury -- or treat an injury. The nervous system is the other and most important component of your body affected by the chiropractic adjustment. As the nervous system is positively affected by the adjustment, some runners may also enjoy some of the benefits listed below:
- Improved coordination
- Better reaction time
- Increased balance
- Heightened accuracy
- Amplified precision
- Stronger muscles
For all you runners out there who want to keep logging those miles, seeing those sites, and wandering those streets, make sure you dash into The Joint Chiropractic for your regular adjustments to keep your body in optimal condition. We love our runners and their joints. Let us help you keep running smoothly.
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