Though you wouldn't think so from the weather lately, spring is almost upon us, and with a return to warm weather comes a desire to get back outside and get active.
For many people, running is an enjoyable and effective exercise which allows you to take in the great outdoors while getting fit. Whether you’re planning to run a marathon or planning to try out running for the first time, there’s a certain level of anxiety. Relax, though! Running is a great activity for anyone to try, regardless of age or fitness level. Keep these tips in mind to help prevent injury and to achieve peak performance.
• Start with proper running shoes. Try to avoid old, over worn shoes. Instead, wear a pair of fairly new, broken in running shoes.
• Start and end with a proper warm up and cool down. You need to stretch before and after running.
• Stay properly hydrated. Runners should get in the habit of replacing any fluids lost while exercising. Start by making it a point to drink directly before and after you run. If your session is longer than 45 minutes, stash a water bottle along your route or sip periodically from a canteen.
• Pay attention to what you eat. Remember: What goes in your body has a significant impact on the performance you get out of it! Go for Lean and Green. Center your diet around whole grains, fish, fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy. These foods will meet your basic nutritional needs and will also help your body recover after exercise. Remember, timing is everything! Increase good carbs 2 to 3 days before run and have a small meal 2 hours before run. Soon after you finish your workout, eat a snack high in both protein and carbs, such as a cup of yogurt with fruit, or an energy bar.
• Avoid side stitches and cramps. Take a big breath the moment you feel a cramp. Pretend you’re sucking air through a straw; then exhale forcefully, as if blowing up a balloon. Don’t try to go to fast too, too soon. Side stitches are common for novice runners and also when you drink too much water.
•Get a chiropractic adjustment! Spinal health is critical to optimal wellness and the proper functioning of every organ in the body!
Most athletes have come to recognize chiropractic care as not only an excellent injury prevention and treatment option, but also as a method for keeping in top form and for boosting performance naturally.
Dr. Dean MacDonald, D.C.