Running is becoming more popular than ever, and for good reason. It is a highly effective workout that you can easily tailor to your own goals, which is free to do (once you’ve got all the right gear), and which you can do in whatever environment you like – from taking on country trails to pounding the sidewalk in your local neighborhood – or even just using a treadmill or a local running track if you prefer to have exact control over things like distance, incline or terrain. Another factor is that ‘runner’s high’, which can leave you feeling fantastic, relieves stress and gives you a great energy 1245658 1920

Naturally then, a lot of people really fall in love with running when they first start doing it. You may have built your way up to running longer distances using something like a Couch to 5k program, and now want to make running a daily habit, or push for longer and longer distances to challenge yourself every time. However, as good as running is, you should definitely exercise caution when it comes to overdoing it.

Strain and Injury

Running is an activity that places a lot of strain on your body, and as a result, injuries are common. According to Yale Medicine, who are experts in orthopedic conditions and treatments, and offer help to people who need to rehabilitate from sports injuries, around 50% of regular runners sustain some kind of injury each year. While this can sometimes be from an accident such as a fall, which would not have been prevented by moderating how much running someone is doing, it is more usually a problem caused by strain, overuse, lack of correct support, or incorrect form.

Taking the Right Precautions

As a beginner runner, you should definitely be aware of the risks and make sure you are protecting yourself as much as possible. This means having properly designed running shoes (which you may want to get professionally fitted for), doing adequate warm-ups before running, and stretching afterwards. If you are a distance runner, you will also need to consider your nutrition (for instance using glucose gel supplements during runs to keep yourself fueled). All of these things are important, but won’t mitigate the risks of pushing yourself to hard or not taking appropriate rests between runs.

Keep Up Enthusiasm While Staying Safe

It’s great to feel motivated and want to run all the time, but it is more important to stay healthy, so you won’t have to take long breaks from running down the line due to injury. Make a plan in terms of running frequency and distance or time, which will suit your current level and help you build towards your goals safely. When you want that exercise high but it isn’t time for another run yet, try taking up other physical activities such as strength training or yoga – these are always a great complement to the cardio you get from running and will allow you to work out when you want without overdoing any one type of training.

Running is a great thing to add to your lifestyle, but make sure you don’t let your enthusiasm make you take risks!