Run safely and stay healthy. Common sense ideas for all runners including what to wear, where to run and other valuable running tips..
As an exercise program, running is cheap, easy and a fun way to spend time with a friend. Before you lace up and head out, it is important to understand the “rules of the road” that can keep you safe, comfortable and healthy.
25 Tips for Running Safety and Health
Following are 25 tips for safe running.
- Consult your physician before starting a running program. WebMD advises men over 45 and women over 50 to know their numbers: blood pressure, BMI (body mass index), cholesterol and blood sugar.
- Start slowly. If running is new to your exercise regime, start slowly by incorporating running and walking together. Work yourself up to your goal sensibly. Speed and endurance will come with experience and persistence.
- Wear good shoes. Get fitted properly at a footwear store and do not buy a pair without professional assistance. Good shoes help prevent injury and provide overall comfort.
- Replace your shoes after 500 miles of running. After that, the shock absorption of the shoes diminishes.
- Warm up. Start running in place or at a slower pace to get your muscles warmed up.
- Stretch after a run. Stretching helps keep your muscles long and limber, helps maintain joint mobility, reduces soreness and prevents injury.
- Wear the right clothing. Save your old clothes for yard work. Buy clothes and socks designed to wick moisture away from your body and feet. This will keep you drier and prevent blisters.
- Dress in layers. Your body heats up quickly during a run so start out dressed for weather five to ten degrees cooler than the thermometer says.
- Stay visible. At the very least, wear reflective clothing that makes you visible to drivers. For added visibility, add a reflective vest over your head.
- Carry ID and a cell phone. Be prepared for the unexpected. If you cannot carry your license, write your name, emergency contact information and blood type on the inside of your shoe. Check with your local running store for an anklet that lets you personalize and wear your contact information.
- Run with a friend or a dog. There is safety in numbers. Never run alone at night.
- Leave your plans. Write down your intended running route, or make sure someone knows your plans.
- Know your route. Do not run a new route until you’ve driven it and understand the obstacles, detours and topography of the road.
- Run against traffic. Be alert to approaching vehicles. Never assume you are seen by someone behind the wheel.
- Do not wear a headset playing music. It is too distracting. Keep your sense of hearing sharp.
- Say no to hot tubs after a run. While it may sound like a good idea, the heat of the water initially hinders the healing process after a run.
- Heat before a run, ice after. Apply heat prior to running only if you have an existing injury as it will increase blood flow to the area. Ice sore muscles after after a run.
- Rest. Allow yourself one day off a week at a minimum. Do not push past pain. If you are injured, take the necessary time off to heal. It does not take long to get back into a routine.
- Keep toenails short. Long toenails can rub and cut into your toes and cause much discomfort.
- Strength train. Do some form of strength training to build strong arms, legs, abs and back muscles. A healthy and fit body prevents injury.
- Stay hydrated. Drink a bottle of water before and after your run.
- Running in a hot climate or cold weather: check out the Road Runners Club of America for valuable tips on how to stay comfortable and safe when the weather is a factor.
- Take a walk. If running feels awkward after a few minutes, slow down and walk for awhile. Listen to your body. It may be asking for a break.
- Prevent chafing. Try a balm that eases the discomfort of rubbing body parts.
- Stay safe and enjoy yourself!
Enjoy the Benefits of Running
Whether you want to run a marathon, lose a few pounds or improve your cardiovascular health, running may be the answer for you. Do your research, investigate running gear and talk to other runners to get their input on how to stay motivated and healthy!