In observance of National
Safety Month we will be talking about ways to run injury free.Today’s post is all about your knees! Whether
you are new to running or you are a seasoned marathoner, you’ve heard the
naysayers caution ...
“You’re going to ruin your knees!”
I want to ask them, “Where is the research?” I have read
research to the contrary and my personal experience also attests that running
can strengthen knees and ankles. I’m running proof.
Does that mean the beginner runner should throw caution to
the wind? No! These few tips can help you enjoy the run while taking care to keep
those very important joints, your knees, injury free.
Find a smooth surface
on which to train. The local high school track was built for running.
Chances are it is free from debris that can reach up and trip a runner
resulting in a fall, skinned or bruised knees, or even torn ligaments. The
surface is often made of rubber that is soft and forgiving which can help
reduce the feel of impact – especially for heavier runners.
If a track is not available, look for a dirt road that is
smooth. Avoid roads with ruts from after rain traffic or a lot of loose gravel.
Pavement is another smooth option; however, its firmness can be less
comfortable for the larger athlete. Avoid grass, trails, and loose surfaces
until you have more running experience.
Good shoes are a
must! It’s not about the color or the name brand, it’s about the fit.A poorly fitted or worn out shoe can create
the wrong kind of stress on the joints. Take the time to visit a running store
and get fit for the right shoe.You can
expect to spend around $100 for a good running shoe and it is worth it! The
expertise and shoe fitting is complimentary.
Listen to your body.
Running hurts. Perhaps that is why it is good for us. There is a difference between
soreness from a workout and pain from an injury. If you have been tripped by an
unexpected object, twisted an ankle on an uneven surface, or if you are
experiencing worsening knee discomfort on or after an average run, it might be
time to get things checked out.Aggravating an injury will only postpone wellness. Trust me – I’ve been
Ice. Give it a
try. It can’t hurt. Fifteen minutes 2-3 times daily should help. If you don’t
see improvement in your discomfort, see a doctor.
Celebrate National Safety Month and keep those joints
healthy, especially your knees. They may grow stronger allowing you to keep
running while the onlookers cringe and caution, “You’re going to ruin your
knees!” Perhaps, but it is easier to get a new knee than a new heart – and running
is good for your heart!
Question: Do you have a safety tip you would like to share?