Running Granny Green encourages women, especially grandmothers, to gain greater fitness by providing tips and inspiration to insure long years of joyful grandparenting.

The cookie recipes are a bonus!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

National Safety Month: Avoid knee injuries!

It's about your knees!
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 there!

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?
Happy Running!
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