Running helps to develop core strength and endurance. This is due to a remarkable process known as adaptation and remodeling, which is the ability of your body to constantly breakdown and build-up muscle, tendon, bone and ligament tissues. A healthy build-up of tissue over time will lead to improvement of your fitness. However, if the breakdown occurs more rapidly than the build-up, overuse injuries occur.
Here are 5 ways in which you can avoid injuries.
- Learn Proper Training Techniques
- An injury is often caused by doing a sport or activity improperly. Proper technique is critical. Just like any other sport, running is not as simple as you might think. Whether you are only starting up, or you are aiming to ramp up your training, you must consider seeking coaching, or at least do some research on proper body form. Using the correct technique can do wonders to prevent overuse injuries.
- Preparation is the key to success
- To be sure if you're ready to safely start a sport, you must have a pre-participation physical evaluation. You may have muscular imbalances or medical conditions that can make you more susceptible to developing an overuse injury.
Once you get cleared to start a sport or physical activity, you must always warm up and cool down before and after every activity. This is the one all-important step athletes tend to underestimate or overlook. A dynamic stretching warm-up of 5 - 10 minutes and a static stretching routine for 5 - 10 minutes at the end of the activity will do you wonders in avoiding injuries.
- Taking rest is as important as training
- A common mistake is accomodating an entire week's worth of physical activity into the weekend. That can easily lead to overuse injuries. Instead, you should rather try to aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on a more frequent basis.
Moving yourself in such a way can give your muscles time to recover from the physical stress and avoid overexertion and unnecessary stress to your immune system. It is advisable to take at least one day off every week to recover physically and mentally.
- Go Slowly
- Pushing yourself too hard and too soon will strain your body past its capacity to repair and rebuild tissue fast enough, leading to an overuse injury. The 10% rule is very helpful in determining how to take things to the next level. In general, you should not increase your training program or workout intensity more than 10% per week. This rule applies to increasing pace or mileage for walkers and runners, as well as to the amount of weight added in strength training.
- Mix your exercises
- Doing the same activity again and again can strain your body and can end up causing an overuse injury. If you end up sticking to a specific sport everyday, then it's time to switch things up. Incorporate workouts to increase strength, flexibility and core stability in order to engage different muscle groups and ensure no one muscle group is overstrained.