Fancy a run?
Running is a great way to keep fit and healthy. Not only is it free, you can do it anywhere, at any time and it’s a great excuse for getting outdoors. Running regularly can also reduce your risk of some diseases, boost your mood and keep your weight under control.
Whether you’re new to running or have been running for years, below are some of my top tips for runners and how to help prevent running injuries.
Always warm up and cool down before and after a run. A good warm up consists of at least a five minute quick walk or marching/jogging on the spot to get the leg muscles nice and warm, whilst a good cool down consists of stretching different muscle groups, particularly the legs and holding each stretch for 30 seconds.
Keep your head straight when running – avoid looking at the floor or at your feet as this will create tension in the neck and shoulders.
Keep your shoulders relaxed – this will allow you to breathe more efficiently when running so more oxygen can get to your muscles.
Keep your elbows at 90 degrees – this will allow them to swing back and forward when you run so will help to propel you forwards.
Lean forward a little – leaning your body weight forward a little whilst running can reduce heel strike and help you to land on the middle of your foot.
Don’t strike the ground too heavily – whatever your weight, your feet should not slap the ground loudly. Running using lighter steps is more efficient and causes less stress on your body’s muscles and joints.
If you have never run before or need some guidance, simple apps like ‘Couch to 5K’ are great little programmes designed to encourage regular running up to 5km even in the most inexperienced of runners.