Running is great for the body, but it can place a terrible strain on the knees and other joints. Luckily, there are some ways to get a good jog in without sacrificing your comfort or mobility. This guide covers the most common mistakes runners can avoid to preserve these crucial ligaments.
Forgetting to Stretch
A lot of unnecessary pressure that is placed on the knees can be alleviated through preemptive stretching exercises. By loosening internal tissues beforehand, the possibility of torn tendons can be eliminated. Painfully tight muscles can be relaxed to boost jogging enjoyment all around. Make sure you’re warm before you stretch and you hold each pose for a few seconds to really reap the benefits.
Hitting the Stairs Hard
A vertical incline should be taken slowly. Staircases wear out knees worse than any other setting. A quick ascension will only degrade structural support by inhibiting your muscle mobility. The wisest approach usually involves a gradual pace to prevent shocking the joints with excessive bends at fast speeds. When you can, avoid running routes with steep inclines and declines. When you do go up or down, keep a steady pace and make sure you hit each step heel to toe.
An uneven ground can really mess up the knees. It is best to stay on the pavement whenever possible. The terrain plays a major role in determining the support that knees receive. Unexpected topographical shifts may result in serious knee problems that can be avoided by remaining on concrete paths.
Letting Thighs Get Lazy
Sometimes, runners let their knees do all of the work. This means they have to support thighs that should be capable of lifting themselves. By exercising the upper leg, joggers can shift pressure to a point above their knees. The benefits of this strategy are two-fold. First, the knees no longer have to carry excess fat. Second, they are being held up by a new system of muscles. Strengthen your thigh muscles with extra training like jumping, squats and leg lifts.
Excessive Lunges and Squats
While these exercises may be good for the abs and glutes, they can cause serious decay to the knees if done incorrectly. Again, it is wise to approach all bends at a reasonable pace. Going too deep will lead to severe cramps, tears, and strains. Make sure you protect knees while doing these exercises by slowing the pace and bending carefully.
Reliance on Painkillers
Some runners ignore their discomfort by taking painkillers. This allows them to keep performing at a high level, but they are making health matters worse by treating symptoms instead of root causes. The body experiences pain as a warning of negative influences, so tuning out these signals can be devastating in the long term. The Alberta Back and Neck Rehab and Sports Injury Clinic recommends you talk to a professional if you have recurring or chronic pain after running. Most often you can find ways to treat the root problem and find pain management in Calgary to feel better longer.
Wearing Bad Shoes
Shock absorption can decrease the stress placed on knees, but many runners neglect the importance of good shoes. Switching to a fancier pair can work wonders! Talk to experienced runners and shoe retailers to find a type that will give your foot full support. You might also want to think about replacing them more often, since running everyday can wear out padding and support faster than you think.
It is easy to be nice to your knees while running. All it takes is a little extra effort and some smart prevention to take care of the issues.