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CentraCare Health – Monticello

  • Ask the Doctor - November 2018

Ask the Doctor

Joseph Mahoney, MD, Pediatrician

Stellis Health – Monticello Clinic

Safe Running To Improve Your Health

Question: I have been interested in adding running to my health and wellness routine. What are some things I should consider to help me stay safe and prevent injury while I run?

Answer: As an avid runner, I am passionate about how adding this activity to your life can benefit both your mind and your body. However, it is important to think of safety when you are running, not only the physical safety of your body but also to be aware of safety hazards in the environment around you.

Here are some important things to consider when running to ensure your activity is safe, fun and beneficial to your health:

·         In today’s age of distracted driving always assume a car will hit you, so always be aware of your surroundings. Don’t listen to music unless your run is off the road. Stay aware of where cars are at on the road and pay attention to road conditions.

·         Try to wear very bright clothing so you are easily visible.

·         Try to run on flat ground like sidewalks. Always running on the left side of the road, because it is uneven, will not be good for your legs over time.

·         If running in cold weather, warm up by moving or walking. Stretching in colder temperatures can lead to injuries.

·         If running in little to no sunlight, wear reflective gear or one of many LED safety lights for runners.

·         Try not to run between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. due to the increased UV exposure.  If you do, wear sunglasses, a hat, and sunscreen.

·         To avoid injury, listen to your body.  General rule: if it hurts but gets better throughout the run, you are good, unless the pain becomes consistent for a few weeks.  If you hurt more during a run, back off.

·         Cross training is excellent for injury prevention; swim, bike, ski, hike, play tennis.  Mix up your routine to keep your fitness activities interesting. The more interesting your routine, the more likely you are to stick with it and achieve long term health benefits.

·         In the winter, try Yak Trax ice grips for shoes. They are an excellent way to help prevent you from slipping on snow and ice. 

·         Consult your primary care provider before beginning any new form of exercise to ensure your physical safety and establish a proper plan to meet your health and wellness goals.

By implementing these safety tips, you will build an enjoyable, injury- free running plan that provides you with maximum health benefits!

Happy running!

CentraCare Health - Monticello

1013 Hart Boulevard, Suite 1
Monticello, MN 55362
Phone: 763-295-2945
Business Office: 800-835-6618
Monticello Medical Group: 763-271-2200
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