Foothills Sports Medicine is here if you ever need Phoenix physical therapy, but our goal is to help you avoid injuries and heal current ones so you can get back in action. We work with a lot of athletes and active individuals, and many of them enjoy running because it’s an effective way to stay fit and healthy. However, running can also be hard on your knees, joints, and back if you don’t use proper form or take care of yourself.
Here are some tips to help you prevent running injuries:
- Hydrate: Make sure to drink a lot of water before, during, and after your run. Drinking 64 ounces per day is a common benchmark, but adjust your water intake based on your body type, physical activity, health conditions, and the climate.
- Warm up: Plan some time to warm up before starting your run. Many people like to stretch beforehand, but it’s actually better to spend that time warming up the muscles you will be using in your workout in order to prevent injuries and improve your performance. Save stretching for after the run to give your muscles a chance to cool down and begin recovery.
2. Dress appropriately.
- Wear breathable clothing and a head covering: Wear airy clothing that allows your body to breathe and maintain its temperature. Hats or earmuffs are also helpful for protection from harmful outdoor elements and preventing your body from overheating or getting too cold.
- Pick the right socks: Socks may seem like a minor accessory, but they can make the difference between a comfortable run and a painful one. Wearing high-quality, thick socks that breathe helps prevent blisters and itchiness.
- Invest in a good pair of shoes: Shoes are the most important part of your running attire. Sports apparel stores have entire processes dedicated to fitting runners with the perfect shoes, so take advantage of these services to find the right ones for you. Also, be sure to replace your shoes regularly so they fit and support you properly.
- Use special accessories when necessary: If you’ve ever had physical therapy in Phoenix, you may have been advised to use special sports accessories to improve your performance or comfort. For example, orthotic shoe inserts are a common accessory for runners with flat feet, unstable ankles, or high arches.
3. Stay safe.
- Watch the weather: Be cautious, and avoid running in extremely hot, cold, or humid conditions. Training in a gym or Phoenix physical therapy office can be a good alternative when the weather isn’t ideal for running.
- Keep an eye on surface conditions: Running on flat ground instead of hills is easier on your body, so look for areas with minimal incline. Training on a track is also a smart option because the surface is designed for running, there is adequate lighting, and the surroundings are usually by a school or other safe public place.
Running is a fundamental part of athletic training, but taking care of your body is a top priority. Follow these tips and tricks to decrease the likelihood of getting injured and make your workout the best it can be. If you do encounter an injury that requires physical therapy in Phoenix, or you want other advice on how to improve your performance, get in touch with Foothills Sports Medicine today.