For an athlete, especially a runner nothing remains more important than staying fit. Yes, their fitness plays an instrumental role in taking their career to a next level. An unfit athlete won’t be able to live up to their own expectations when it comes to performing better than earlier. Each athlete wants to set their own benchmark and beat it in the subsequent performances. But in order to beat their own benchmarks, they have to outperform every time they play their game, which is possible only if they continue to enhance their fitness level.
Staying away from injuries and illnesses is very important for professional athletes to perform effectively every time they get into the field. Whether you injure your upper body or lower body, the pain and discomfort caused by the injuries have the potential to restrict your function completely.
Running injuries are some of the most common sports injuries that are not only restricted to runners, but footballers, soccer players, rugby players, and tennis players are equally affected by them.
Some of the common running injuries that affect athletes badly are runner’s knee, Shin splints, Achilles tendinitis, Plantar fasciitis, Patellar tendinitis, Iliotibial band syndrome, Stress fracture, and blisters. Whether you injure your muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, or bones, it’s important for you to consult a doctor immediately to recover immediately.
Whenever athletes receive an injury, they have to stop practicing their game until they recover completely, therefore it’s better to prevent them.
Here is how to prevent running injuries to stay fit and live a pain-free life. Here’s 8 tips for improving your fitness to avoid running injuries.
Raise Your Flexibility
One of the best ways to avoid running injuries is to improve your flexibility. So, if you are ready to enhance your performance, improve your flexibility and avoid injuries, make sure that you start performing stretching exercises daily. Athletes with high flexibility get less ligament and tendon injuries when compared to others. And stretching is the best way to improve flexibility.
However, make sure that you warm up your muscles before starting with stretching. Yes, there has to be a 10 to 15 minutes warm-up session, before you start with stretching exercises. While stretching makes sure that you keep all your joints in mind, to improve the overall flexibility of your body. Some of the best stretching exercises that you can perform regularly include skipping, arm circles and high knee drills.
Stay Hydrated While Exercising & Playing
It’s very important for you to stay hydrated during your workout sessions. In addition to that, you should also keep on sipping water and juice while running, or play any sport like football, and soccer. Preventing heat exhaustion is utterly important if you want to give a great performance, and keeping yourself hydrated is one of the best ways to do that. Staying hydrated plays a crucial role in staying active, which eventually proves very helpful in avoiding injuries.
So, make sure that you drink at least one glass of water before starting your workout session in the morning. But it’s always advisable to drink water at least half an hour prior to starting the exercises.
Go for Strength Training
If you want to reduce muscle fatigue and improve your overall body strength, then it’s extremely important to include strength training in your workout routine. Without strength training, it’s highly difficult for athletes to improve their athleticism. Remember muscle fatigue remains one of the biggest reasons for poor performance and it also leads to running injuries.
Exercises like weight lifting, dumbbell squats, dumbbell lunges, leg press, machine squat, pull-ups, seated cable rows, chin-ups, and Arnold press etc., are very effective when it comes to building your strength. The strength training exercises that you perform must focus on both your upper and lower body. An athlete with the strong and sturdy body will receive fewer injuries compared to others.
Take Warm Up & Cooldown Exercises Seriously
Whether you are going to a competition or it’s a routine practice session, it’s important that you start with a warm-up session and end it with a cool down session. Athletes who fail to give the importance to warm up and cool down sessions can’t really maintain their fitness, the way they should.
Increase Your Speed Slowly
It is very important that you increase your performance slowly and gradually. Runners have to carry out their practice sessions daily to maintain their performance and to enhance it gradually. It’s not a good idea to increase your speed immediately because that can lead to injuries like ankle sprains, and muscle strains. If you push yourself too hard, you won’t get anything except stress and injuries. Use a treadmill to build up your strength and speed and pace if needed. Sites like the Verve help on picking decent equipment.
Carrying out quality aerobic exercises can play a crucial role in raising your performance gradually.
Go For Cross Training
Cross training is also very helpful for runners and other athletes. It’s one of the most effective ways of enhancing your aerobic fitness – which is nothing but your capacity to transport and utilize oxygen to the fullest while carrying out intense physical activities like running.
Eat Balanced Diet
Consuming a balanced diet is extremely important to maintain your fitness and to keep the illnesses at bay. Your diet should include everything from fresh fruits, and veggies to dairy products like milk and cheese. However, if you fail to consume a healthy diet you will end up reducing your fitness, which will affect your performance like anything and will also lead to common injuries.
Get Proper Training
It’s very important for athletes to get proper training, otherwise, they will never be able to avoid potential injuries. So, you should join a gym, wherein you can take the assistance of a fitness trainer.
However, it’s quite true that even after preparing yourself so much, you do get injuries once in a while. So the question here is, how to deal with them effectively. Well, physical therapy is one of the best ways to manage the pain that stems from running injuries.
According to Athletix Rehab, “Sports injuries can really set you back from your favorite activities and competitions. Furthermore, due to the high-speed nature of most sports injuries, the trauma to muscles, tissues, and joints can be severe. However, the right physical therapy can effectively treat your sports injury to get you back to your activities pain-free and safely.”
There are several effective physical therapy techniques like manual therapy, massage therapy, dry needling, and Kinesio taping etc., which help in reducing pain and improving your mobility. So, whenever you receive a running injury you must consult a physical therapist.