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Taking Precautions Before Those Jingle Bell Jogs

By Stephen R. Farris

'Tis the season for eggnog and mistletoe. Jingle bells all the way and, speaking of, it's that time of year when most small to large towns and cities host their annual 5K or 10K runs to bring in the holiday spirit.

The average participants in their mini marathons are your typical weekend warrior types, but quite a few take running seriously as that is their main workout regime. Whichever you may be, there are some things you need to do in order to prepare for these events.

It doesn't matter if it's warm or cold, you have to be prepared for race conditions. 

Dress for the Occasion

Being that your local 5 or 10K event is taking place in late fall or early winter, always check the 5- to 10-day weather forecast to see if it's going to be cold, rainy, windy, sunny, warm or overcast. Once you know what to expect from the weather, make sure you are properly dressed for the competition. In cold conditions, dress in layers. For instance, you can still wear your running shorts but cover those legs with a pair of sweats or athletic pants designed for colder conditions, yet flexible enough to allow the movement you need. Don't forget warm socks, maybe a lightweight sweatshirt and cover your head too. In other words, stay warm but not so much to where you can overheat. Rainy weather, choose waterproof apparel; sunny and warm, shorts and a lightweight shirt. And remember your feet. Wear comfortable shoes that will help your joints take the pounding from the pavement.

Stretch, Then Stretch Some More

It may sound like a broken record, but stretching is probably the most important measure needed for running, and most any sport or physical activity out there. Since this is a running event, make sure those calf, thigh and hamstring muscles get loosened up right before the event. The last thing you want is to pull up lame before the race ends. Not only that, you may end up missing time at work related to the injury.

Pre-race day would be an opportune time to visit your local chiropractor too. They can check you out to make sure you're able to compete in the race and can do adjustments on your spine and joints to help loosen them up as well.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Atlanta, Ga.

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