10 Safety Tips for Runners

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10 Safety Tips for Runners“It’s never too late until you believe it is!” This saying certainly applies to running. Regardless of your age or fitness level, the road is always paved for you to start your amazing running adventure.Now that the weather’s gotten very nice, you might feel inspired to revive your New Year’s resolution and get on your running shoes. But if your body isn’t used to running, you could face some challenges in getting started and maintaining the habit. You must train yourself to warm up and stretch before a run, so that your muscles don’t lock up or risk a strain. Additionally, you need to listen to your body, remain aware of your surroundings, and pace yourself to prevent injury.

Visit a Physician

Better safe than sorry! It’s always recommended for new runners to check out with a physician especially under the following conditions: breathing problems, overweight, heart problems, chronic fatigue, above forty, and if you have no running background whatsoever.

Start with a walk/run Program

“Too much too soon” is a big NO unless you want to quite within weeks because of fatigue, injury or both! “Slowly but surely” is how all successful runners began their running journey. You must incorporate walking into your running routine especially if you’re an absolute beginner. In doing so, you’ll reap all the healthy rewards of walking while slowly and steadily building up your pace and, in the mean time, reducing the risk of injuries.

Check Your Heart Rate Regularly

Most beginning runners are so keen to monitoring their weight but they often forget to check their pulse. As you probably know, Running is mainly a cardiovascular activity. It actually trains your heart to pump more blood to your body with every heartbeat. As a result, you would eventually need less beats to work for you.

It’s highly recommended to check your pulse regularly and monitor your improvement. The ideal checking moment is just after waking up. Here’s how you do it: Count your heartbeats for ten seconds. Then, multiply the number by six to calculate your total pulse per minute.

If you’re running regularly and within your fitness level, you should notice steady improvement in your heart rate. Of course, it wouldn’t happen in a day or two but you should see measurable results within weeks or months in some cases.

It’s very important to remember that if your heart rate increased by five to eight beats per minute one day than the day before, chances are high that you’re overdoing it. In this case, it’s advisable to take a rest and check the pulse again the next day. Once it’s back to the old level, you could start running again.

Keep a Running Log

Most experienced runners assert that keeping a running log is by far the best way to keep track of their progress. The good news is: You don’t even have to buy a running log. Simply make up your own on a paper or computer spreadsheet. Your running log should include basic information about your runs including: time, distance, type of workout, weight and pulse.

It goes without saying that you will become extremely motivated to feel that all your effort is paying off, as you see your mileage increase while your pulse and weight decrease thanks to running.

Listen to Your Body

It’s never too late until you believe it is!You could become your own coach once you learn to listen to your body. Muscle pains and tiredness are perfectly normal running pains. However, beware if during or after the run, you start to feel dizzy or experience pain in the chest area, the legs, or the back.

In this case, you must stop running immediately and start walking or completely resting. Later on, you’d need to decrease your training load or even stop when necessary until the pain is ceased. If still in pain after all, you must check with your physician.

With experience, you’ll understand you body signals and learn when to keep going and when to stop.

Lower Your Intensity

Don’t fall into the trap of starting at a too high intensity. Paradoxically, the slower you go when you begin, the faster you will become in the end! “Base building” is by far the most essential part of your running. This will result in easy running in the future. Low intensity running for beginners is an excellent aid in avoiding overtraining. If, at the end of your workout, you would tell yourself: ’I could’ve gone a bit longer’, it’s a clear indication that you’ve been running at the right pace.

Maintain Regular Workouts and Healthy Diet

To ensure maintaining steady progress, it’s far much better to run three to four times a week for thirty minutes than two run once a week for two hours. It’s very important to ensure that you follow an effective running schedule that takes into consideration slow yet regular build-up.

It’s important to maintain a healthy diet if you strive to make the most out of your running.  Poor eating habits could easily sabotage your effort and hinder your desired progress.

Warm Up and Stretch

These are actually two separate steps. Many people mistakenly regard stretching as part of their warm-up.But you’ll want to walk around and warm up your muscles before you start to stretch. Stretching cold, stiff muscles can lead to strain and injury.Try to focus on muscle groups and areas that are used during runs, such as the calves, hamstrings, glutes, IT band, hips, and core muscles.

Pace Yourself

Don’t try to force your body to complete a 5K run if you haven’t done one in a while. Understand your limits and work your way incrementally to your goals.If you’re completely new to running, try alternating between jogging and walking. Each day, walk a little less and jog a bit more. Bring a stopwatch so you can carefully measure out times and distances.

Listen to Your Body

Pain is your warning to stop. Whenever you feel discomfort, try to address it. Ignoring it will not make running injuries go away; in fact, they can become worse.Examine your gait and shoes to see if these play a role in generating pain when you’re running. If you cannot identify the source and the pain persists, then check with a sports medicine doctor.

Awareness of Surroundings

As a runner, you need to work with the terrain you have. Depending on where you live, you might only get access to sidewalks and busy roads, instead of scenic mountain trails.Use your eyes and ears while running near traffic, in case you need to move out of the way of a vehicle or cyclist. If you’re struck by a vehicle, then contact the authorities immediately, get medical help if you need it, and contact a legal professional.

Running can be a healthy and fun hobby to take up. You will stay safe if you do proper warm-ups and stretching beforehand, don’t ignore pain, and stay aware of your running environment. Here’s to your fitness and well-being!


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