Injury Prevention Tips for Runners

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[caption id="attachment_2065" align="alignnone" width="600"]Running can keep you fit, but there are steps you can take to prevent common injuries. Running can keep you fit, but there are steps you can take to prevent common injuries.[/caption]   Runners are an avid group of people, dedicated to their sport and staying fit. Many runners will run no matter what the weather is to make sure they stay in step with their routines. While running is a great physical activity, it can also lead to injuries if you’re not careful. NARA is here to offer tips to help you avoid injury so you can continue to run and stay fit. Stretching is Important You may remember stretching before running during high school gym class, but stretching is actually more helpful either during or right after a run. While stretching your hamstring before a run doesn’t hurt, it’ll be more effective if you take a break during your run when your muscles are warmed up. You can also go through a cool down stretch once you’re finished running. Know Your Limits Whether you’re a veteran runner looking to push yourself or a new runner, knowing your physical limits is important. There’s nothing wrong with starting slow. If you’re just starting running, there’s nothing wrong with mixing walking and running as you build endurance. Experienced runners looking to add distance should do so gradually to prevent injury and burnout. Injury Prevention Tip: Find Level Ground If you live in a community with a lot of running trails, this is much easier. Most streets are built with at least some slope, so you’re actually running on an uneven surface, even if you don’t notice it. This means one leg is working harder than the other, and can also lead to other injuries. If possible, run on a local track or find a running trail in your area. NARA supports runners in their fitness goals, as well as the physical therapist who provide treatment when runners sustain injuries. If you’re a physical therapy provider, consider joining NARA to gain access to all the benefits our membership offers.