Regardless as to whether you believe in climate change or just cyclical periods of warmness, it’s hard to dispute the fact this winter was certainly not one of the coldest ones we’ve ever experienced. Whereas this wasn’t the best news for people in northern states who plow driveways for extra cash in the winter, many runners in our greater Cincinnati community were probably not complaining too much. Of course, if they weren’t taking measures to prevent running injuries, they might have ended up with complaints of a different nature!
No matter the time of year, running injury prevention is important. You can always come see us at one of our six podiatrist offices for effective foot care services, but we’d prefer to know you were able to stay safe in the first place.
Running is a wonderful exercise, but all physical activities have at least a certain degree of inherent injury risk. One of the important things when you lead an active lifestyle—and you totally should—is to take the right measures to lower the risk. By doing so, you will be able to realize the myriad benefits—physical, mental, and emotional—running and other activities have to offer. With this in mind, let’s take a look at some tips to help you prevent common foot and ankle injuries:
- Make smart footwear choices. Start your path to keeping your feet safe when running by choosing the right pair of shoes. There are many different options for running shoes, and your best bet for finding a pair that works best for you is to go to a store that specifically caters to runners. The employees at specialty stores understand which types of shoes are intended for your particular foot arch type and gait pattern.
- Ease into running. If you are new to this activity, or are considering ramping up your intensity or duration of your training, do so gradually. Too often, we see patients who have decided to try doing too much at the start.
- Warm up and stretch first. Whenever you run, take some time to warm up with light jogging, followed by dynamic stretching, before you go. This will prepare your body for action and reduce your risk of injury.
- Stick to level running surfaces. Trail running and hill work on occasion can be fine, but keep the bulk of your running on level surfaces. Sloped surfaces affect the way forces and pressures are distributed across the feet and ankles, and this can lead to potential injuries.
- Replace worn out shoes. Running shoes have a limited lifespan and are not intended to be worn indefinitely. Typically, you should replace your running shoes roughly every 300-500 miles. When you buy the footwear, ask the sales associate what you can expect regarding the lifespan of the shoes you are buying.