Running is a great way to get in shape. But did you know that some habits may interfere with your daily run? Here are 12 of the worst running habits and how to stop them.
Lack of Sleep
We all know that it is important to get the right amount of sleep, which does vary person to person. Not getting enough shut-eye can impair running. It can make recovering from an injury take longer and can weaken immunity. It can also impair mental awareness.
It is important to do some stretching before breaking into a run. But people often forget to stretch after. Do some stretching after a run to loosen muscles and help prevent injury.
Being Your Own Doc
An ache here and a pain there. Some pain killers and rest will fix it right up, right? What seems like a minor injury can escalate into something much bigger if not treated properly. A visit to the doctor, while a hassle, may save you a lot of pain in the future.
Too Much Too Soon
Recovering from an injury is important and it is important to take it slow once you are able to run again. Do not do too much too soon as this may cause further injury. Take it slow to stay healthy and increase mileage by only 10 percent weekly.
Start the Run Too Fast
It is so easy to start out on a run at a fast pace only to let it quickly catch up to you and make you weak towards the finish. Hold back at the start of a run. A GPS watch is a helpful tool to help you track adjust your pace at all stages of a run.
Looking At Your Feet
Running may be the only time it is not a good idea to keep your eye on the road. Looking down at your feet during your run cuts off oxygen. Keep your eyes focused a few feet ahead of you and enjoy the scenery!
Swinging Hands Across The Body
All movement while running should be forward and back. Any other motion, including swinging your arms, makes the upper body work harder and makes the legs cross in front of each other. Be aware of where your arms are during a run: keep them relaxed and at a 90 degree angle.
Squeezing Your Fists
While making sure your arms are at a relaxed 90 degree angle, be aware of your fists. Do not squeeze them tightly. This results in pressure that will eventually travel down to your legs.
Food to Refuel
After a run it's important to grab some food. Grab a high carb snack and then enjoy a meal high in proteins and carbs. These foods help rebuild muscle.
Don't Ignore the Core
Core muscles play an important role in running. Make sure to add some core strengthening exercises into your routine. It is reported that those who do core strengthening activities improve times by 30 seconds.
It's encouraged to take a day off. Over-training results in injuries, slower times, and a loss in motivation. Training programs should allow for a day of rest as well as two or three easy days for balance.