The weather’s getting nicer and you look outside and think “why not take my running to the next level and hit the great outdoors?”
Great idea. Outdoor running is a great way to get some fresh air, enjoy your surroundings and work some stabilizing muscles that don’t necessarily get worked on as much when running on a treadmill.
However, running can be quite taxing on the body and can be even more so when running on uneven surfaces outside. So we’ve got some tips for you to make sure you’re ready for the transition.
-Your warm-up and cool-down is important to prevent injury and ensure that you’re getting the most out of your run.
-Make sure to get a good dynamic warm-up in before you set off for your run. This can include lunges, squats and leg swings. This is important to warm your muscles and prep them for the run.
-After the run is over, be sure to cool-down and lower your heart rate with some static stretching.
Set your route
-When you’re running, the last thing you want to think about is whether you’re going in the right direction or wondering where you are.
-Before embarking on a new route, be sure to map it out and know how to navigate it by walking the route beforehand.
-You can also buddy up with someone who has done the route before and is familiar with it.
-For ideas on what routes to run, you can check out running forums to inform yourself on popular trails and parks that people recommend.
-When running, footwear is key.
-Your everyday running shoes are fine for running on the treadmill, but when you’re hitting dirt, gravel or slippery slopes, it’s crucial that your shoes have the appropriate tread to avoid any falls and injuries.
-Supports may also be necessary depending on your particular case so it’s always helpful to consult with a professional about this.
-Outdoor running can be more demanding on your muscles, joints and bones, which can lead to injuries like shin splints and knee pain.
-Start with shorter distances on flatter terrain and work your way up to longer distances, uneven terrain and hills if you’re up for it.
-Don’t push yourself to run at the same pace you would on a treadmill – it’s not the same terrain.
-Start at a comfortable pace and gradually increase it as your body gets used to the conditions.
There are many additional benefits of outdoor running, but the risks also increase. To ensure that you understand how to do it safely and effectively, consult with your structural chiropractor or other health professional.
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