-By Sr. Physiotherapist, AktivOrtho™

If you are an active runner or you want to get active and start running, you may need these important tips which can help you prevent injuries and achieve your optimum level of performance:

1. First and foremost, get the right running shoes to prevent injuries. Also, make sure you don’t run in worn-out shoes.
2. It is important to incorporate a proper warm up and cool down in your schedule to prevent injuries. Warming up helps to minimize stress on your heart and cool down allows your heart rate and blood pressure fall gradually.
3. Breathing is an important aspect that beginners and intermediate runners often do the wrong way. You actually want to breathe in through your nose and mouth to make sure you’re getting enough oxygen to your muscles while running. Taking deep belly breaths can help to prevent side stitches, a common issue for runners.
4. Keep yourself well hydrated during your runs. Use your thirst as your guide to know when to drink during your runs.
5. Many runners hold tension in their upper body, which can make your regular run feel twice as hard. Try to keep your hands at your waist level, right about where they might lightly brush your hips. Your arms should be at a 90 degree angle, with your elbows at your sides. Keep your posture straight and erect. Your head should be up, your back straight, and shoulders level.
6. Don’t do too much too soon to prevent overuse injuries. Increase your mileage gradually. Don’t let your weekly mileage increase by more than 10%.
7. Tightness of the lower limb muscles is the most overlooked aspects of running. The use of foam roller helps to release tightness of myofascial tissues. Focus on the calves (especially good for preventing plantar fasciitis), hamstrings, glutes, IT bands (outer thighs), and inner and outer hips.
8. We hardly think to strengthen our toes, yet these muscles bear the weight of our bodies the most. Build strength in small muscles of the foot and toes to prevent injuries and ultimately be able to train harder and run faster.

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