On the Run: Safety Tips for Absolute Beginners
Many people are starting to run to get in shape, lose weight, or enjoy the outdoors. Running can be an exhilarating, liberating experience. With the right gear and preparation, it can also be very safe. However, it would be best if you did not ignore some essential safety tips for absolute beginners to ensure you stay in good health while having fun. Without further ado, let’s get to the list.
Invest in the Right Gear
Running is a straightforward sport, but there are some things you will need to be safe. Running shoes should always fit well and have good support for your foot type. Besides the shoes, you will need some comfortable knee sleeves to protect your knees from chaffing and some comfortable clothes to give you the freedom of movement without being too baggy.
When choosing the gear, you will also need to consider the climate. The right equipment can make all the difference between having a good experience and being uncomfortable, so it is worth investing in quality pieces made for your area of the world.
Get Medical Clearance
Just because running is simple does not mean it is without risk. You should always get a doctor’s approval before starting to run in earnest, especially if you are over the age of 35 or have any pre-existing issues that put you at increased risk for injury. Even once your physician gives their blessing, there are still some things to watch out for that will help ensure your safety.
Some of the underlying conditions that do not support this exercise include, but are not limited to, hypertension and cardiovascular disease. More specifically, people with these conditions should pay close attention to their body’s response after running for a few minutes. It can indicate problems such as chest pain or other symptoms associated with cardiac issues.
Form is Important, Too
Even if you have all the right gear and medical clearance, it will not be enough to keep you safe. The most important thing is having good form. This means leaning forward slightly with your head up instead of looking at your feet, taking long strides that allow for a nice turnover rate (180 steps per minute), landing on the ball or midfoot, and having a short stride that enables you to land under your center of gravity.
Many people also recommend practicing deep breathing during running as it can help improve endurance and circulation over time. This is especially true if you used the proper support gear early on in training, so there are no chafing issues or problems with poor-fitting shoes caused by the wrong size or poor arch support.
Embrace the Run-Walk Method
Even experienced runners use the run-walk method to help prevent injuries and increase endurance. This means alternating running with walking at designated points during training, usually every few minutes or after a certain distance has been traversed (such as one mile).
While this might not be for everyone, it is still advisable to build up your endurance slowly before trying to run every single day. Running less frequently but for more extended periods will help you keep an excellent cardio-respiratory endurance without causing too much stress on your body, which can lead to injury and other problems down the line.
Always Stay Safe
The most important thing you can do is always to be safe, no matter what. Be sure that your shoes are comfortable and fit well. Pay extra attention to the climate before running in shorts or something with a small surface area of skin exposed. Finally, make sure not to go beyond your body’s limits by pushing yourself too hard on long runs.
Also, you have to beware of the traffic. Do not be distracted by your music or any other thing. Keep an eye on cars and bikes, too. If possible, find an area with less traffic to run in and always have a friend or a trainer with you, so he can help if something happens.
Make Your Running Manageable
While it is essential to challenge yourself and take your running seriously, you should also remember that this does not mean taking on too much at once. Being a beginner means building up endurance slowly, so do not worry if you can’t run for more than five minutes the first time out. If possible, try practicing multiple times per week instead of just once to give your body time to recover.
If you are still unsure how to get started running, find a local coach who can help you figure out the best method for training while minimizing injuries and other problems that might arise along the way. This will make it safer and more enjoyable since there is nothing worse than always feeling tired or in pain during exercise.
Just because you are a beginner does not mean that you should compromise your safety! Take all of the above tips into consideration and put them to use for your next training session so you can avoid injuries while still getting the most out of your workouts, no matter how long they might last.