As the cooler temperatures kick in, people are able to spend more time outside walking and running. Perhaps you are even getting your running shoes out now and getting ready for one of the many races coming up.
Whether you are a competitive runner or you just like to do fun runs, it’s important to make sure you’re taking care of yourself and avoiding injury.
Decatur sports chiropractor Dr. Alan Bragman agrees that running is a great way to stay fit. However, he also knows the repetitive nature of the sport is associated with injuries such as, sprains, strains, tendonitis, fascitis, fractures and other problems with lower extremities.
“Most running injuries and problems are related to improper preparation and over training,” says Bragman. “Runners need to prepare for this challenging high impact activity by stretching, properly warming up, having adequate core strength and cross training."
These principles apply to all runners. Many people ramp up their running routines for upcoming races. Here’s where Bragman says he sees problems.
“You need to slowly build up the miles and intensity while giving the body lots of time to rest and recover. Adequate stretching, strength training and cross training are necessary.”
Bragman adds, if something hurts, don’t ignore it or it could become a bigger problem.
Wearing the proper shoes can help avoid many problems. Places like in Decatur will let you try shoes on and practice running in them. It’s also a good idea to replace shoes regularly.
As the temperatures get colder, it’s important to dress in layers since running rapidly raises body temperature. Bragman says you should wear the right hat, socks and gloves, and at the beginning of your workout you should be a little chilly.
“As the temperatures drop you need to dress in layers and protect the hands, feet and head," he said. "Thirty percent of your body heat escapes through your hands and feet, while 40 percent escapes through your head.”
Try to wear fabrics that wick moisture away from the body.
And even though you might not sweat a lot, you’re still losing fluid, so make sure to hydrate and eat and adequately throughout a long run and afterwards. Finally, Bragman suggests when the weather is miserable, cold, rainy, snowy and the wind chill is off the charts -- hit the treadmill.
If you’re interested in participating in some local races, the 20th Annual Run For Justice 5K is on Nov. 12 in Oakhurst. The One Love One Heart for CdLS 5K, Race to benefit the Cornelia de Lange Syndrome Foundation and research facilities will be held in Decatur on Dec. 3