You may be thinking, “I’ve been running since I was a little kid how hard can it be?” Well, you may have been running most of your life, but you are not a little kid anymore and your body has different needs than it did when you were young; which means there are certain safety measures that you should take before, during, and after any run to keep you safe and running for a long time to come.
Before you Begin
Before you take up any workout regimen you should have a complete physical to make sure that you don’t have any health issues that would make activity difficult. Since running is a strenuous cardio activity it is even more critical that you get a checkup before you start your training. Inform your health care provider of your running plans so that they have a clear picture as to what they need to check for. Blood pressure, heart, and joint issues are all concerns that need to be addressed before you begin your program.
After you have had your physical and been given the green light to start your training program, you should incorporate at least a fifteen minute warm-up and stretching period at the beginning of your workout. This prepares your heart, muscles, and respiratory system for the upcoming activity so as not to through your body into shock and minimizes the risk of injury.
If doing a long distance run, you will want to prepare any items that you will need, water bottle, reflective clothing, and a cell phone in case of emergency are all items that should accompany you on your run.
During your Run
It is easy to fall into a flow and sink into an introverted mindset when running. However, it is important to your safety that you remain aware of your surroundings at all times. Keep a close eye out for cars, wild animals, and loose gravel or unstable footing to avoid any serious injuries or even accidental death.
Choose a running location that is well lit if running at night, or if running during the day that has plenty of unobstructed visibility to give you enough time to respond in case of any dangerous situations that might arise.
Hydrate and replenish your nutritional intake. Cross country runners, marathoners, and tri-athletes all understand the importance of good nutrition and its effect on the body. Keeping protein bars and sufficient amounts of fluids with you while on a run are vital to your body’s ability to continue on.
Before you stop moving – make sure to incorporate a 10 minute cool down period into all of your runs. This gradually brings the heart rate back to normal, and gives your muscles a chance to flush out any toxins that may not have had enough time to purge into the bloodstream; follow-up with a mild to medium stretch after. This will decrease your chances of heart attack and muscle cramps.
- After you stop moving – continue your hydration and eat a protein filled meal to replenish any missing nutrients that may slow your muscles recovery time.
If you follow these basic runner’s safety tips you should be running your first race in no time.