Three important tips for running
It is important that we do try to maintain a healthy structure to our days by incorporating exercise, whether it be a walk with the dog, run, cycle, a home work out or for those lucky enough to have home gym equipment, a gym training session.
Although exercise is extremely beneficial both physically and mentally, it is important that we firstly make sure that we have enough energy to complete our planned exercise regime of the day. A warm up and cool down/recovery period are also important to keep possible injuries at bay.
Maintaining sufficient energy
Fatigue is a common factor associated with injury. Fatigue is another term for over exhaustion. Often, people are unaware as to why they may feel ‘niggles’ and become injured and may not remember a specific point or incident in which caused a certain injury. When we engage in too much exercise, we are overloading the body. When fatigued, the muscle is more likely to be under more pressure than usual and can’t function as strongly as it would usually, therefore, is more likely to become injured.
We can avoid this by switching up different types of exercise, alternating the days we do certain activities and by including rest days, including a warm up and recovery period too.
Importance of a warm up
A warm up can be anything of a light cardiovascular exercise. It is done prior to the main exercise session being done and can be a brisk walk to a slight jog for 10- 15 minutes. A period of light stretching can also be done as part of the warm up. A warm up can evoke an increase in temperature from an increased circulation of blood around the body, which ensures that the muscles are provided with enough blood and oxygen to carry out the exercise.
Warm ups also initiate neural related effects so that the muscles contract effectively to during the given exercise. Stretching can increase the muscle length and range of motion around a joint which will then help with movement during exercise.
Importance of a cool down or recovery period
Well done, you have completed your exercise for the day! Just 5 or 10 more minutes and you are set to go and do it all over again! Did you know that a cool down or recovery period is just as important as a warm up? Well, its true, it is!
A cool down helps to reduce DOMS (Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness) by reducing the amount of lactic acid build up in the muscles. A simple walk followed by stretching can help alleviate those muscles from possible soreness. A walk will allow more controlled and deeper breathing, which helps replenish the blood with the oxygen it needs, that can then be sent to the muscles as they will be in a state of what we like to call ‘oxygen debt’ from the exercise. The muscles have used up almost all the oxygen by the end of most exercise sessions! Oxygen debt is a term simply to describe the lack of oxygen the muscles have.
It is our duty to replenish the muscles by including a recovery period so that they don’t become injured or sore. You will then be able to continue with your exercise plans and regimes easier without the worry of causing injury.
To compliment your outdoor exercises, here’s a link for 6 core exercises to do from your living room.
If you have any questions or you would like some advice, feel free to message me using our FREE online service. I would be more than happy to help you where I can!
Charlotte (Sports Therapist, Physiofusion)