Running is one of the most famous sports in the world — but it’s also infamous for causing injuries. In the US alone, around 40 million Americans incorporate the sport into their regular routines. Being a regular doesn’t exempt you from accidents though, and Dr. Lisa Callahan highlighted that runners are 19.4-79.3% more likely to experience lower extremity injuries according to many studies. Among all these cases, foot and ankle injuries are the most common.
But here’s the thing, you don’t need a miracle to be able to avoid running injuries. As common as they may be, you can still lower your chances of getting injured by following these tips to avoid foot and ankle injuries:
Don't Skip Warm-Ups and Cool-downs
It can be tempting to skip these pre- and post-workout steps, especially when you’re pressed for time. However, you might regret your decision later, considering that these steps prepare your body for activity and aid in your recovery.
An article on VeryWellFit highlights that runners need at least five to ten minutes of light aerobic exercises to loosen up tight muscles. This not only optimizes your flexibility and efficiency, it also prevents your muscles from getting injured during your run. Meanwhile, a good old walk or a light jog will feel great after a long run. Plus, it will help your body transition properly to a state of rest after an intense workout.
Wear Appropriate Running Gear
Your running shoes may still look functional, but if they’ve been around for years, they’re likely to become a hazard on the road. Running shoes protect your feet from rough terrain and strong impact forces, so they tend to wear out faster than the average pair.
Since your shoes are meant to prevent injuries and boost your performance, you need to look for pairs that are optimized for the sport. Thankfully, the internet is a huge resource with many dedicated shoe sites offering valuable information that cater to every type of runner. The resources on SoleSavy provide information on the latest shoe technologies, as well as highlighting releases that can improve your safety while running. They also have an active community that can provide guidance on any questions you may have. By learning and investing in the right gear, you can literally go very far in your sport.
Conduct Preventative Measures
Prevention is indeed the key to avoiding running injuries. So before you even feel the onset of pain in your body, get a massage session that can soothe your muscles and prevent any injuries.
Massages are certainly relaxing, but our article entitled Don’t Wait Until Something Hurts emphasizes that these services can also maintain the state of your muscles. Through regular bodywork sessions, you can relieve your tight muscles, improve your range of motion, and boost your circulation. This ensures that your body is thoroughly prepared for your next run.
Condition Your Body for Running
You can become a safe and efficient runner by doing workouts other than running. While it may seem unnecessary to participate in other sports, these can properly condition your body so that you can run better.
In fact, Greatist points out that a functional conditioning program can prepare your body for the performance demands of running. To get into optimal running shape, you need to do a conditioning circuit that replicates the motions that you do during your run. Unilateral exercises like lunges and step-ups can improve your balance, while lifting weights can increase the efficiency of your biomechanics for a safe run.
Runners often experience injuries and pain, but there’s a way to prevent this from happening to you. Our licensed therapists here at Michigan Massage and Wellness can help you live a pain-free life by soothing sore muscles and improving your range of motion. This will get you relaxed after a killer running session, while preparing your body for the next round.
Thank you to Cerys Giles for this article contribution