We all know bad habits are difficult to break but this holds especially true in the case of a regular running routine. This is because when you have developed a fixed pattern for running, it becomes difficult to identify the errors or inefficiencies in your routine that have eventually become your second nature.
Running is a great way to improve your overall fitness and physique. In fact, it the best cardio exercise that helps you to burn calories and is really enjoyable to do. However, without the guidance of an expert, most people develop habits that prevent them from making the most out of their run. Runners do wrong movements or run with a poor posture which in turn leads to constant pain or permanent injury. A bad running routine also affects your immune system over time.
Here’s a closer look at bad running habits you need to break:
Running With the Wrong Posture
When you run, your body should alternate between forward and backward movements. Your arms should be relaxed with the elbows pointed at a 90-degree angle. Make sure you maintain this posture while running and are aware of the position of your arms. Also, keep your elbows moving forward and backward in tune with your body while running. Following this right posture is crucial to prevent back or knee injuries. You can also consult a physiotherapist to improve your posture and make sure you are not harming your joints while running.
Stretching is highly recommended before running. It not only makes your body more alert but also increases the flow of blood to your muscles. Stretching your arms and legs before running prevents tightening of muscles, shin splints and other unnecessary injuries. It also improves your stamina and helps you run that extra mile. Consult a PT to learn some basic physiotherapy stretches that help you avoid pain later on. You can also try activity specific training to increase your stamina and avoid injuries.
Resting is an important part of running. Lack of proper rest can affect your immune system as well as worsen your mental focus in turn harming your performance. Take a day or two off from running every month to relax your body. Get a massage from a qualified physiotherapist to help you unknot the adhesions from your legs and relieve pain from your muscles.
To maximize their speed and stamina, runners usually push themselves beyond their limits. It is recommended to increase your mileage only by a percentage of 10 each week. Overdoing it while running can affect your immune system adversely and result in permanent knee and ankle injuries. Hence, it’s important to work on your speed slowly and steadily and not rush through the process.
Being Your Own Medic
It is natural for runners to be aware of their bodies and hence, recognize the symptoms of injury or pain earlier than others. However, this can also lead to developing a bad habit of self-diagnosing one’s injuries and treating the pain without the help of a professional. Lack of a thorough examination by a physiotherapist can turn those minor muscle pulls and adhesions to permanent ligament tears and bone fractures. If you are experiencing lingering pain in your muscles that lasts more than three days, visit a PT as soon as you can.
Keep in mind these bad running habits you need to break to avoid unnecessary pain and injuries at a later stage.