According to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, runners have a 45% lower risk of cardiovascular death and can see their life expectancy increase by up to three years. Running may have some amazing health benefits, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take precautions. To ensure you stay healthy while jogging, keep the following things in mind.
1. Drink Plenty of Fluids
Dehydration can cause a number of problems ranging from fatigue to hyperthermia. Ensure you have enough fluids by drinking around 20 ounces of water before you start exercising. Consume another 8 ounces every 15 minutes or so when exercising outdoors in humid conditions. When working out on a treadmill, keep a water bottle nearby so you can take frequent sips. Finish with eight to ten ounces of fluids after your workout, or more if you have sweated excessively.
2. Do Strength and Core Training
Strength training will help you increase endurance and prevent injury. Core training, on the other hand, promotes good posture, which can improve your performance. For best results, perform strength and core training two to three days per week on non-running days.
When doing core exercises, remember to work your back, shoulders, and hips rather than focusing only on your abs. Keeping all these muscles working properly is the key to preventing back pain while jogging.
3. Stretch before and after Exercise
Stretching before a run will loosen your joints and help your muscles become more limber. According to Harvard Health, it will also increase your range of motion. Strenuous exercise can shorten your muscles, which is why you should also stretch immediately afterward. Stretch for between three to five minutes each time, paying special attention to your quadriceps, thighs, and hamstrings.
4. Wear the Proper Footwear
The right sneakers will fit your foot properly, leaving no room for slipping. They will also provide adequate cushioning and be flexible enough to move with your foot. For long-distance runners, you may wish to have a professional gait analysis done. This will allow you to choose a pair based on how your foot pronates or turns while you run.
Running shoes do break down over time, so you should replace yours at least every 400 to 500 miles, or more often if they show signs of wear. So that your shoes last as long as possible, wear them only when running-even if that means you have to change shoes when you get to your jogging location.
5. Get Enough Protein
The International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN) recommends that to build and maintain muscle mass, exercisers should consume between 1.4 and 2.0 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight daily. For a 165-pound athlete, this would amount to between 75 and 120 grams each day. The ISSN also advises that protein intake should be evenly spread out throughout the day so that you are consuming some every three to four hours or so.
6. Increase Mileage Slowly
Increasing your mileage too quickly will make you more susceptible to injury. This is why Runner’s World magazine recommends increasing your mileage by no more than 10 percent weekly. They also claim you should remain at your new level for at least three weeks before increasing again. When training for a marathon, U.S. News and World Report recommend training for between three and six months depending upon your level of fitness.
These tips will help you stay healthy and prevent injury. If you do experience an injury, physical therapy can allow you to decrease knee pain, foot pain, or any other ailment and get you back on the track again as soon as possible. Physical therapy can also help you improve your range of motion and gait mechanics so you can run for longer without getting fatigued. To find out more, contact Cawley Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation at 570-208-2787.