How to stay away from running and sports related injuries
Getting injured is most runners’ worst fear, especially when they have races planned ahead. Not only are they painful, but they require recovery and rest which can last for weeks and months.
Of course, injuries can happen to just about anybody, but there are some ways to minimize the risk of injuring yourself. Here are 4 tips for preventing injuries:
- Pay attention to what your body is telling you
Always listen to your body. The human body has the ability to let us know when something is not quite right. Runners often mistakenly think that these bodily signals such as shooting pain or soreness are just part of the process of running and training hard. Actually, it is essential to learn to recognize the warning signs which your body is giving you in time in order to take timely action and prevent worsening of the injury or other health problem you might have. Make sure you differentiate between grit and strength and actual pain due to a real injury!
- Mix up your training schedule with some cross training
Sure, running maybe your thing, but even when preparing for a marathon or another serious race, it is essential to let your body rest from the intensive running, and tone and strengthen the rest of the body as well. This means adding some strength training, swimming, Pilates, cycling or any other training in between your regular running sessions. This will help increase your overall fitness, strength and endurance and will allow your feet and legs to rest and recuperate after running. Cross training is absolutely essential if you want to prepare for a race properly and stay away from injury.
- Make sure your body is properly fueled
Ensure that you are eating good and nutritional foods which are essential to fuel the body, help it recover from training and in order to prevent certain stress injuries which are commonly due to Calcium or Vitamin D deficiencies. Eating healthy and nutritional food will help your body stay well and will reduce the risk of those dreaded injuries.
- Don’t skip the rest
Even if you are training intensively for a race, or you are feeling in excellent shape for running, it is crucial that you give your body sufficient time to rest properly during runs and workouts. If you just keep pushing the body without allowing it to recuperate and recover you are putting yourself in great risk of suffering a mild to serious injury due to overtraining and stress. Once again, remember to listen to what your body is signaling and if you feel tired or down – take a day off running and get some proper rest.
- Know your limits and create a proper action plan
Every runner wants to reach a new personal best as soon as possible, and reach their goals immediately, but you need to remember that pushing yourself too much, overtraining and setting unrealistic goals can be very damaging to your body. A wide variety of injuries occur t runners who have not properly planned the mileage increase in their training program. Running experts advise that you increase your mileage very slowly and gradually by following the 10% rule, or less depending on how your body is reacting to the training and how you are progressing in time.