Running: The Ups and Downs

Running along a beach.This time of year people are out and about, running, cycling or just enjoying the warmth. When the weather is wonderful and it is a great time to be outside and staying fit and active there are a few things to be aware while you’re out. Most types of exercise come with risks and rewards. Today I’m going to take a closer look at running, what it’s good for and a few things to be careful of.

The Ups

Stay fit, improve health, relieve stress, improve your mood.

Running is a great form of cardiovascular exercise. Helping to keep your heart beating strongly and blood flowing efficiently through you veins running also increasing your lung capacity are just of few of the things it can do. Staying fit helps you maintain or gain a healthy weight.  Exercise releases endorphins that help to elevate your mood. By running your body will exert excess hormones which help you feel better and relieve stress.

The Downs

Joint injury, dehydration, muscle fatigue, and damage.

Running is a high impact sport, the repetitive nature of striking the ground repeatedly can cause or worsen a number of issues. As a massage therapist I see a lot of runners. Knee injuries are one of the most common complaints runners have. Be sure to keep your feet facing forward and your body relaxed as you run to avoid torquing your knees. Another common complaint I hear is lower back pain. This is usually caused from a tight QL or ‘Hip Hiker’ muscle. This is another reason to make sure you’re using good body mechanics when you run. If you are experiencing back pain when you run, try to include some core strengthening exercises in your workout routine and tuck your tailbone while you’re running. Be sure to take in a good amount of water, especially as the weather gets warmer and don’t forget to stretch after your run.

There are always things you can do to help prevent an injury from occurring. If you are an avid runner, consider getting regular massage to help improve your overall athletic performance and maintain flexibility and mobility.  Keeping your body relaxed and moving efficiently is one of the best things you can do to keep yourself going.

No matter how you decide to stay active make sure you’re having fun and doing it the right way. It’s much easier to avoid injury then to recover from one. If you find you need some with recovery don’t put it off and schedule an appointment today.