Running is an integral part of any fully functioning workout routine. The benefits are incredible and can help with heart health, muscle strength, and endurance in many ways. But, like anything physically straining, there is an inherent danger in running. It is extremely important to maintain certain precautions when running to avoid injury and the pain and suffering that accompanies it. Pay close attention to these necessary ways to avoid injury while running. They just might save you from some serious pain and danger.

Stretching and Flexibility

The number one way to avoid injury while running is to maintain flexibility by stretching before and after your runs. Flexible muscles tend to not cramp up or tear as easily as muscles which are not as flexible. Stretching routines are just as important as the running itself, as they improve muscle movement and help to maintain endurance and strength by ensuring you are utilizing the full capacity of your muscles in movement. But be careful! It is equally important to remember not to overstretch, as this can injure your muscles and tendons as well. So stretch gently and carefully, and you will improve your movements and therefore your running experience.

Stay Well Hydrated

Another important way to avoid injury while running is to stay well hydrated before, during and after your runs. Water is one of the most important tools our bodies use in stringent movements such as running and working out. Staying hydrated ensures that your body and your muscles are in tip-top shape and can handle the pressure you are putting them under when pushing them to the limit during your runs. When you’re dehydrated, your muscles become weaker and less moveable and malleable. The lack of hydration can cause cramping, soreness, pain and severe injury. So be aware of your water intake and make sure you continue to drink water before, during and after each run.

On top of that, it is important to stay hydrated at other times as well. If you are a serious runner or you work out regularly, staying hydrated during your workouts is important, but it is equally important to stay hydrated throughout your regular daily routine as well. This ensures that your body continually gets the water it needs to function properly.

Be Aware of Your Surroundings

One commonly overlooked way to avoid injury while running is to be aware of your surroundings. Many people run with headphones in both ears and loud blaring music, making it nearly impossible to be aware of what is around them or coming toward them unless they physically see it. Try using an earphone in only one ear, keeping the volume generally low, and keeping your eyes and ears alert at all times.

Running on public roads is a common way to work out, however being aware of your surroundings is particularly important in this scenario. Car accidents can happen for a number of reasons, and when you are running on a public road, you do not want to be involved in one. So be aware of cars coming in every direction. Be sure to make eye contact and affirm your intention before crossing a crosswalk where cars are present. Be especially careful of cars making right turns at red lights when you are on the right side of their car, as they may not be looking in your direction at all and can easily hit you without seeing it coming. Always be on the lookout for distracted drivers and dangerous situations. Be aware of bikers as well, as injuries can occur when a biker collides with a runner on the road. Just remember that you are sharing this space with everyone else, even if you are on the sidewalk. Your chances of injury increase the busier the road you are on, so stick to side roads and back roads if you have the opportunity to do so. But no matter where you decide to have your runs, be aware of your surroundings at all times! It is much better to be safe than to be sorry. Accidents happen less often the more vigilant you are of what is around you.

In Conclusion

Running is an incredible exercise that can help you reach your fitness goals and stay in great shape. But it is extremely important to stay safe while running and avoid any sort of running injury. Stretching and staying flexible is number one, as it helps to prevent muscle and tendon injury in the process of running. Staying well hydrated is the next most important goal in avoiding any sort of injury while running, keeping your body fluid and tender for the best results in fitness and working out. And lastly, staying aware of your surroundings at all times when running in public. Keep yourself safe at all times and you can avoid injury while running!

August 15, 2018 — Brian Maniscalco

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