Taking up exercising is one of the best decisions you could make. But, as simple and natural as it might look, running can be dangerous too, if you don’t do it wisely. Before starting to exercise regularly and enjoy jogging several days a week, there are a few tips and tricks you need to know if you want to play it safe. Remember that prevention is better than cure and that any activity is potentially dangerous. You just need to keep in mind a few rules.
- Know your limits. If you suffer from chronic conditions, especially from heart diseases, visit your physician and find out how much and what type of exercise is suitable for you.
- Some professional advice says not to increase mileage by more than 10% each week. It is believed that any runner has an injury threshold, may it be 10 miles or 100 miles a week.
- Invest in a pair of good shoes, with ankle support and proper cushioning, to prevent blistering or twisting yourankle. Some people are the adepts of barefoot-like running, and prefer to use running shoes with less cushioning. Either way, only you can decide what is more comfortable for yourself. If you are a regular runner, you may need to replace your running shoes every 2-3 months or after 600 miles.
- Avoid uneven or hard surfaces like pavement and try as much as possible to benefit from the advantages of all-purpose track surfaces.
- Include warm-up and stretching routines before and after running. This will increase blood flow and prevent too much lactic acid from gathering into your muscles, which means less soreness.
- Begin with slower paces and only after a few minutes increase speed.
- Choose proper sportswear that will help you feel comfortable and not affect your coordination.
- Avoid extreme weather conditions. Too much heat will cause dehydration and tiredness.
Most important of all, listen to your body signals. If you are experiencing persistent pain, something must be wrong, so pay attention to what your body is trying to transmit you. It is recommended to take a break and substitute running with other exercise, like swimming or cycling. There is a lot of science behind running, but your first adviser when running should be your own body.