Running is a great way to get in shape, but it can also lead to injuries. Knowing
about common injuries and how to prevent them can keep you on track toward achieving
your fitness goals.
Identify your running goals. You may choose to start running to improve your physique, lose weight, increase cardiovascular
fitness, or socialize with friends. Whatever the reason, it's a good idea to identify
this goal when creating your exercise program. If you want to improve cardiovascular
fitness, for instance, you should run at a quick pace to maximize your heart rate.
If you're running to lose weight or reduce body fat, it's better to run at a slower
rate for a longer time. Depending on your goal, your doctor or personal trainer may
decide that a modest walking or jogging program is appropriate. Setting goals helps
you follow a safe pace and keeps you from overexertion, which can result in injury.
Have a physical evaluation. Certain health problems may hamper your running performance and increase your risk
for injury. Specifically, osteoporosis, arthritis, and other degenerative joint diseases
can increase your injury risk. If you have any significant health issues, you should
discuss these with your doctor before you start to run.
Warm up before your run and stretch after you run. Doing so can prevent some of the most common injuries. It's most important to stretch
muscles that move joints. These include the calf muscle, which moves the knee and
ankle, and the hamstring, which moves the knee and hip. Walk or gently jog for 5 minutes.
Cool down at the same pace for another 5 minutes at the end of your run.
Wear the correct shoes. Buying shoes at an athletic store, where a salesclerk can help you choose a shoe that
fits your foot type, can help prevent injuries.