Running is an excellent form of cardiovascular exercise for individuals of all ages. However, it can also take its toll and impact certain body parts. Proper knee care is particularly important for Fox Valley residents from Green Bay to Oshkosh who enjoy regular running and jogging for exercise. Here are four tips for taking care of your knees when running.
1. Gradual Progress is Key
While you want to push yourself and improve your stamina, pace, and endurance, you don’t want to push yourself too far at once. For example, if you are a new runner, don’t plan on running a half marathon after only a few weeks of training or try sprinting for an entire mile to earn a personal best. If you want to push yourself, gradually do it. Too much at once can cause injuries, some serious.
2. Invest in Good Shoes
Your shoes can make all the difference for various body parts when you run. If you run only four or five miles a week, you don’t need fancy running shoes but you need to ensure your shoes offer plenty of support. If you plan to run far distances and are training for a race such as a half marathon, you should visit a running shoe store to find shoes that correctly fit your feet. The better your shoes fit, the fewer injuries and strain your body will experience.
3. Don’t Focus Exclusively on the Hills
While hills can be excellent training tools to build endurance and stamina, they can also be destructive on your legs. As you run down the hills, you put a lot of pressure on various joints, and if you place pressure on these joints for long periods of time, you could cause serious injuries, even permanent damage. Be versatile in your running, which will also keep your body guessing and working hard regardless of the course.
4. Lose Weight
Being overweight can not only affect your organs and other vital functions of your body, but it can also impact your joints. When you are overweight, you place extra pressure on your knees as you run, which over time can cause serious damage to the joints. If you are severely overweight, you may want to consider a walking regimen to get your weight under control and build up some muscle, stamina, and endurance before training and running. You may also consider working with a personal trainer who can help you lose weight and implement various exercises to build muscle and tone your body.
Running is a great way to get in shape and take care of your body, but you must keep the above tips in mind to prevent any serious injuries.
If you are feeling any discomfort during or following any training runs, you might like to request a consultation with one of the orthopedic specialists at the Orthopedic & Sports Institute (OSI). Please call (920) 560-1000 or request an appointment online. New in 2018, OSI’s offers immediate care for new, acute orthopedic injuries at its walk-in clinic at the OSI Appleton location.
OSI is a proud member of NOVO Health.