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Keeping Feet and Ankles Healthy for Runners

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People of all ages enjoy running for many reasons.  First of all, it’s great exercise that burns calories while improving strength, endurance, and cardiovascular health.  Second, many runners enjoy the constant challenge presented by running that keeps them pushing themselves to the limit.  There are so many reasons to love running, but if you’re not doing it properly, it could lead to some painful and debilitating conditions later in life.  Here are some tips from the physicians at Resurgens Orthopaedics Foot and Ankle Center that can help you run correctly and avoid injuries:

Always Warm Up

The warmup is a crucial component of any workout, but it’s especially important for runners. This includes stretching and easing into the run. Before running, be sure to stretch all the major leg muscles including the hamstrings, calves, and quads. This will prevent you from getting a cramp while running and it will make your muscles and joints more flexible. When you start your run, walk or jog slowly for a few minutes before breaking into an all-out run. Easing into a run is always a good idea and will reduce the likelihood of developing some common running injuries.

Wear Proper Shoes

Your feet are the foundation of your step, and if you’re not wearing the right shoes, it will throw your entire body out of alignment. Wear shoes that are actually designed for running, rather than cross-trainers or other types of sneakers. While many shoes look like running shoes, runners have specific requirements and need shoes that are designed to reduce impact and support the arches. Shoes should also fit snugly and not move around. This will prevent blisters, corns, and painful callouses that can make your run that much more difficult.  An orthotic insert may help with some of these issues. To learn more, read our blog on choosing the best footwear for foot and ankle health.

Control the Intensity of Your Run

Many people are tempted to jump right into things when they begin running, but it’s important to remember that your workout doesn’t end when you finish your run. After you’re done, your body begins to heal itself and get your muscles back in shape for the next run. If you start too big, you’re setting yourself up for injuries.  Running too far, too fast, or too frequently are all common mistakes that runners make, so give your body time to adjust to your new workout routine before you start pushing yourself too hard.

If you follow these tips, you can prevent some common running injuries to the feet and ankles. Running isn’t easy, but it can do wonders for your health and fitness. They key is to stay healthy so you can continually improve. If you’re not careful, you could end up with an injury. Accidents do happen, of course, so if you’re concerned that your running regimen has left you with an injury, schedule an appointment at Resurgens Orthopaedics today and find out the best way to get on the road to recovery.