As I was out for a morning run, I decided to really pay attention to my form and posture during each stride. Am I hunched over? Do I tend to favor one side as I swing my arm through the stride? Do I toe-off more on one side than the other? Am I running flat? These are all things to consider when hitting the pavement. We think we are doing ourselves a favor by being out and running (which you are and I congratulate you for being active), but did you ever think you may be doing yourself harm? Improper shoes, tight muscles, a functional/structural short leg. These can all cause imbalance and therefore put more strain on certain weak areas of your body.
So how do you know if you are doing more harm than good? Most running stores have professionals that can fit you with proper shoes. High/low arches, chronic ankle/knee pain, leg length discrepancies and/or bunions are a few examples. These can be assessed and you can get into a shoe that will properly fit and allow correction to whatever abnormality you may have. Shoes are so important to good form. And always remember they last approximately 500 miles. Shoes that are too worn can accentuate the problem areas and lead to more pain in the future.
Another important step is to stretch. You never want to stretch a cold muscle so take a few minutes before you head out to do some jumping jacks or run in place slowly. This will warm your muscles up. Walk for a few minutes and then stop and stretch. And always stretch following your run. Get your hamstrings, quadriceps and hip flexors elongated. This will also help with circulation. One last reminder on this note….always stay hydrated. Water is your friend for any physical activity.
Finally, it is very important to keep your body functioning optimally whether it is through your nervous system or muscular system. Chiropractic adjustments can help to keep your leg length even, keep the muscles hydrated for best elasticity and keep your posture erect to be able to breathe comfortably during the workout. If you have any questions on any of these topics please call and we can answer any questions you many have. Our society is becoming more and more inactive, let’s change that and do it properly.