Time to dust off your running shoes; Spring is almost here and with it the possible realization that Winter has left you out of shape. We never fail to see an influx of runners in pain every Spring for this exact reason. The most common complaint we get is… KNEE PAIN! So, rather than wait for it (or any running injury) to happen to you again this year, here are some tips to keep you moving:
- Warm-up first: 5 minutes of light aerobic warm-ups will get your muscles loosened up and help to avoid muscle cramps and strains.
- Stretch BEFORE running: The common belief is that you should stretch after running, but much evidence exists to indicate that optimal benefit to your overall flexibility occurs by stretching after a warm-up but before starting your run.
- Static stretching is good, DYNAMIC stretching is better: Once your muscles are warmed-up, going through a basic routine of dynamic stretches will give you the greatest benefit to not only improving your range of motion but also helping you maintain that benefit far after your run is done. Dynamic stretching occurs when you move your joints from one end-point of motion to the opposite end-point with SLOW and CONTROLLED movement. For example, while standing and keeping your knees at the same level bend your right knee to bring your heel as close to your glutes as physically possible, then fully extend (straighten) your knee until your feet are together again. Repeat 15-20 times. You’ve now dynamically stretched most of your quadriceps and hamstrings muscles!
- Drink plenty of water: Whether you are a “sweater” or not, you will perspire while being physically active. Replenishing your water stores is absolutely necessary. At baseline, you should drink 1-2 liters of water a day. On days you run, you should be closer to twice that much or more! Don’t forget your electrolytes, but try to avoid beverages with added sugar.
- Get plenty of sleep: There is no better way to fall out of your new exercise routine than to not get enough restful sleep. Sleep is critical to your body’s recovery process, but only if it is deep, restful sleep. 7-9 hours a night is a must. Aim for the same bedtime every night. Avoid electronics and screen time for at least 1 hour before bed.
Whether you are a runner or not, following these recommendations will help you return to your favorite outdoor weather activities, and avoid injury. We only get a few months a year with great weather, so don’t waste that time laid up with an injury.
“Since I’ve been in chiropractic, I’ve improved by leaps and bounds both mentally and physically.”
Get the care you need from a chiropractor with 20+ years experience! A Place of Health provides you with devoted attention and care. Feel free to get in touch with Stonebridge Chiropractor, a trusted Chiropractic clinic in Richfield, MN. We’re here to help!