On your mark, get set…

JGH News, Fall 2011

A warm autumn night, a light breeze through your hair and…a pain in your shin? Many of us who love to run find it discouraging when a nagging injury prevents us from showing our true form as we zip through our local neighbourhoods. To keep your strides long, endurance high and injuries few, JGH Physiotherapists Maria Ambrosio, Debbie Gardos and Shona Harvey have some tips to share with avid (or occasional) runners.

Stretching may not directly prevent injuries, but it does increase flexibility which is good for overall fitness. Start with a light, five-minute warm-up and then stretch your muscles before pushing into your run. Once you reach the home stretch, slow down to a walk and let your body cool down gradually.

Clothing can make a difference, so be sure you think carefully about what to wear. “Take the time to find shoes that fit properly and provide support as well as flexibility,” says Ms. Ambrosio. This will decrease your chance of developing common running-related injuries such as blisters, heel pain (plantar fasciitis) and shin splints. Also, wearing socks that wick away sweat will keep your feet dry and decrease friction during your run. 

Most importantly, Ms. Gardos stresses, “listen to your body” and don’t dismiss anything that seems unusually painful. A bit of tightness the day after a run can be normal, but if you have constant pain speak to your doctor.

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