Starting a running program is a great way to ease into exercise and jump start your fitness. If done properly, you can prevent overuse injuries by slowly increasing your mileage. Here are five benefits of starting a running program:


1. Weight loss

We all know that to lose weight it’s important to exercise. By adding 30-60 mins of moderate exercise three times per week, you will boost your metabolism which will ultimately help get rid of that unwanted belly fat. To maximize weight loss, try reducing your caloric intake by 200-300 calories per day and make sure to eat plenty of vegetables and protein.


2. Increased energy

Running increases blood flow which carries oxygen to muscles. This allows them to produce more energy keeping you more alert throughout the day. It also stimulates chemicals in your body to keep you awake. Instead of drinking a cup of coffee, try going for a 20-30 min morning or lunchtime run to wake you up.


3. Improved mood

Besides giving you more confidence in the way you look, the U.S. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion found that exercising 30-60 mins per day three times per week increases endorphins (Dopamine and Serotonin) in the body which helps make you feel happier. This can help reduce anxiety and depression.


4. Better sleep

There is nothing better than a good night’s sleep after a hard run. Research shows that people who perform 150 mins of exercise per week get a more restful night’s sleep. Rest is an extremely important, and often overlooked, component of a well-balanced exercise program. Eight hours of sleep will improve your metabolism and help your body recover from your training program so that you are refreshed and ready for your next run.


5. Progress to a more advanced exercise routine

If running a marathon seems like a daunting task, starting an easy running program of one to two miles a few times per week can help give you the confidence to increase your running frequency, speed and overall time running. Before you know it, that marathon that seemed impossible may just sound like your next bucket list item to tackle!


If you’re interested in easing into a new running program, the Foothills Running Group may be the place for you. Join us on Saturday, August 25th at 7 am at FAST Ahwatukee for an informational meeting and fun run. Learn more here.

As you’re training for the upcoming Mesa-PHX Marathon, you may develop overuse injuries, which are common for long-distance runners. These injuries can occur from muscle imbalances, increasing your training volume too quickly, and lack of stretching appropriately. Common overuse injuries from running include IT band syndrome, patellofemoral knee pain, Achilles tendinitis, and plantar fasciitis. One treatment physical therapists use to help you recover from overuse injuries, so that you stay on track for your marathon training program is cupping.

Cupping is an ancient practice that has been used in multiple settings to improve well-being. The process involves placing suction cups on the skin for several minutes. The cup sizes, cupping time, and movement of the cups can be manipulated in multiple different ways by physical therapist to address pain management, blood flow, muscle relaxation, and myofascial mobility.

The physical therapist will apply lotion on the target tissue and place a suction cup on it. The vacuum effect, in most cases, is created by a hand pump. The vacuum created in the cup draws blood flow to this target area for several minutes. After several minutes of cup manipulation, the cup is then removed by the physical therapist. By bringing blood flow to the area being cupped, it sends oxygen and nutrients to the area to promote tissue extensibility and relaxation. If you and your physical therapist decide that cupping is for you expect to have mild bruising after sessions. Bruising is expected to go away after several days but the long-term benefits make the short-term bruises well worth it.

If you’re interested in adding cupping to your marathon routine, contact any of our 22 Arizona locations today to set up an appointment. We understand what it takes to train for a marathon, and we’ll do our best to safely get you to the finish line.

Foothills Sports Medicine Physical Therapy is a proud sponsor of the 2018 Mesa-PHX Marathon. We’ll be set up the day of the marathon in the Runner Recovery tents to help ease any aches and pains after the race.