Summertime is here and with it, for many, comes the desire to don a pair of trainers and hit the road for a run.
If you are new to running why not try the NHS podcasts for couch to 5Km http://www.nhs.uk/livewell/c25k/Pages/couch-to-5k.aspx or join a running club.
Here’s how not to make it a troublesome one for your joints and muscles…
The finer weather might be incentive to keep on running longer than usual and push your body that little bit more. While good for reaching your ultimate running goal, pushing your body too hard might result in unwanted injuries.
Listen to your body’s natural resistance and follow these tips for a safe and effective wind down after your run:
Don’t Stop Moving
Keep gently mobile right after your run. Try regular walking for 5-10 minutes; it might be the last thing you feel like after running a few miles but remaining static should be avoided at all costs to avoid injuries.
Applying ice to specific injuries such as problems with joints is highly recommended. This is most effective when the ice is applied immediately after a run but still works when applied a few days following.
Taking a hot bath after a long run is ideal for strained muscles. It also helps with overall rejuvenation and relaxation which is often needed after a strenuous or draining stretch.
Food For Thought
What we put in our bodies pre and post run is particularly important. Snack regularly, ideally on something that is high in carbohydrates, low in fat, which contains some protein. A tuna sandwich is ideal. Ensuring you drink lots of fluids is also another very important factor for runners to remember. Water is of course an excellent choice when it comes to keeping well hydrated but there are plenty of other options out there, too, such as sports drinks and gels. Remember: after finishing your run, always refrain from drinking alcohol until fully rehydrated.