With gyms and fitness centers closing due to COVID-19, many have decided to go back to the basics and start running. Running is the perfect way to keep moving, as it requires no equipment beyond your shoes and a great attitude. But if you’re not used to running, it can seem overwhelming. Follow these tips to begin a running routine that won’t leave you hurting or discouraged:
Remember to Warm Up
Dynamic stretching is the best way to warm up your body. Some of our favorite warmups include walking while pulling alternating knee to chest, butt kicks, high knees, walking lunges, and toe touches. Start with a couple of these movements for a few minutes to prevent injuries while running. Once your muscles feel loose, you can start your run!
Start Slow & Build Up Distance Gradually
If you’re new to running, remember that your mind is a powerful tool. You can’t expect to go and run a full mile the first time you put on your sneakers. Start slow and build up your distance gradually to prevent any injuries. You can do this by listening to your body and alternating walking and running.
Before you even start running, think about your goals – both long term and short term. This will shape your perspective and help you listen to your body if you need to slow down or if you are ready for more of a challenge. You can begin your run by walking and jogging in intervals, finding a comfortable pace that allows you to be in tune with your body. It’s important to build up running intervals before worrying about how fast you are running them.
Don’t Forget to Cool Down
Once you’re ready to finish your run, walk for a few minutes and let your heart rate decrease gradually. To avoid soreness or injury, use a foam roller and try a few prolonged stretches of your calves, hamstrings, quads, and hip flexors. In addition, drink lots of water to stay hydrated!
If you notice pain after or during a run, Performance Physical Therapy is ready to help. We provide treatment for musculoskeletal conditions and injuries including back pain, knee pain, arthritis, plantar fasciitis, and more. Contact us to schedule a free 15-minute evaluation with a physical therapist or an appointment for physical therapy in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.