What Can You Do to Prevent Running Injuries?
Jul 27, 2021
If you’re a runner, you know there’s nothing like hitting that runner’s high. You’re also undoubtedly aware of the toll running can take on your body as you hit the pavement with each stride. Whether it’s shin splints, runner’s knee, strained muscles, or any number of other potential obstacles, learning how to avoid running injuries should be a top priority for all those with active lifestyles.
The steps for prevention aren’t all that complicated and can be taken by everyone. Let’s take a look at what you can do to prevent running injuries so you can stay on your feet and keep going!
Learning How to Prevent Running Injuries
What can you do to prevent running injuries? If you’re a runner, this should be at the forefront of your mind. Injuries can range from mild to serious, but regardless of which case it is, they’ll keep you from doing what you love. Learning how to avoid running injuries is about self care, knowing your limits, and taking the right precautions like having proper equipment.
A few different things that answer the question “what can you do to prevent running injuries?” include:
- Learning how to choose running shoes
- Warm up before running to increase mobility and flexibility
- Have a proper post workout recovery routine to cool down
- Get a massage regularly
- Start out slowly
Learn How to Choose Running Shoes
There’s no argument that the first step in answering “what can you do to prevent running injuries?” is to make sure you’ve got the proper footwear. Running shoes are absolutely essential for runners as they provide the proper support needed to help prevent injury.
There are many elements to consider for choosing the best running shoes for you such as ankle support, heel counter, and even integrated tech for tracking your progress. Some of the most important basic principles, however, are making sure it’s snug at the heel and ankle while allowing some room for your toes (enough to wiggle a bit) at the front.
Have a Running Warm Up to Prevent Injury
Like with any form of physical activity, part of knowing how to avoid running injuries is to have a warm up routine. Cold muscles don’t stretch or move as easily and are much more likely to incur injury than those warmed up.
Different warm ups can include stretching, mobility exercises, or anything that gets your heart rate slightly elevated and allows your muscles to gently prepare for more rigorous activity. Try lunges, leg swings, and stretching out your groin area as part of your routine for preventing running injuries. Activities like yoga or tai chi are great exercises to add to running warm ups because they help increase mobility and flexibility.
Practice Cooldown Recovery After Running
If having a running warm up routine is a crucial answer to “what can you do to prevent running injuries?” then it stands to reason practicing cooldown recovery after running is equally important. If you finish your run and stop your momentum without easing out, there’s a much higher risk for muscle soreness or stiffness to occur.
Some easy cool down techniques for runners include:
- 5 to 10 minutes of lower intensity running
- 3 to 5 minutes of brisk walking
- 5 to 10 minutes of total body stretching or flexibility exercises
How to Prevent Running Injuries With Regular Massages
Everyone knows that a massage feels great. Full body massages reduce stress and can be useful for alleviating back pain, improving blood flow, and many other health benefits. Did you know regular massages may be effective for how to prevent running injuries, as well?
Ideally, you should get a massage at least once a week if you’re a regular runner. For those who aren’t running as often or don’t run competitively, you might consider every couple weeks instead (at least once a month, however). If making regular massage appointments sounds time consuming and very costly, consider getting a massage chair for your home! The incredible array of massage chair benefits for athletes may help enhance bodily healing and keep you up and active.
Is a massage chair worth buying and is it really as good as a massage therapist? Absolutely. With the advancements in luxury massage chair technology the difference between using a massage chair vs human massage has been eliminated. There are even models with AI massage capabilities that are able to adapt to your body and needs while giving you a personalized massage experience each time. This is just one of the many benefits of owning a massage chair as a runner.
Regular leg and foot massages may help when learning how to avoid running injuries, as well. Electric foot massagers are good for you as they help work out your plantar fascia, a band of soft tissue along the base of your foot. This band of tissue is what helps guide your feet to go from heel to toe as you’re running so keeping it flexible and loose is essential when learning how to prevent running injuries.
Knee and calf massage are also great for helping muscle strain and keeping muscles loose. Working out these muscles may also help reduce the likelihood that you’ll experience Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS), which could prevent you from being able to take your usual run for a few days. As an added bonus, some different massage chair features include models with calf and knee heat. The benefits of heat therapy may enhance your massage experience and boost the benefits of massage chairs for health.
Massages for runners don’t just stop at benefiting legs and feet. Running on hard surfaces can also put added stress on your back, making massage chair benefits for back pain another reason to consider adding one to your home. Of all the reasons to own a massage chair, however, perhaps the most useful is that you can experience massage any time you like in the comfort and privacy of your own home.
How to Avoid Running Injuries by Starting Slowly
Last up in our examination of “what can you do to prevent running injuries?” is to simply start out slowly. If you’re a seasoned runner, then warm up and post run recovery should be the highest priorities on your list. If you’re just starting out, however, taking it slow helps your muscles adjust without increasing your risk for muscle strain or other injuries.
If you’re training for a 5K or marathon you’re not running the whole length the first day, right? No! Start with shorter runs (or even jogs, if you’re not a runner just yet). Learning your limits at the beginning is crucial for how to prevent running injuries. This goes for people just starting running as well as those beginning to train for long runs.
We hope this guide was helpful in answering the question “what can you do to prevent running injuries?” Some of the most effective things you can do when learning how to avoid running injuries are starting with proper footwear, doing proper warmup and cooldown routines, and choosing a massage chair for home to keep your muscles in great shape. Preparation and post-workout care will keep you up and running--literally!
Curious about more benefits of massage chairs? Check out these resources for more information on massage chairs and how they can fit any lifestyle: