Running is a great way to burn fat, increase your physical fitness and to increase your muscle strength. While that is all true however, it can also sometimes be a little tough on the joints, ligaments and limbs as it involves a lot of high impact repeatedly hitting the joints. This then can somewhat take away from the benefits and leave you in a worse off state than you started. Here then we will look at how to avoid damaging your knee when running by taking various precautions and using correct technique.
Using the Treadmill Correctly
When running on a treadmill you should make sure to include a slight incline on it which can help you to avoid putting unnecessary strain on the knees. This incline helps to reduce the sudden impact on the knees as you have less far for your foot to fall with each stride and this in turn can help you to avoid knee joint problems.
Using Soft Surfaces
If you are taking your running outside then you should try to make sure that you favor soft surfaces where possible. Running on pavement can cause a high impact as you run, but if you opt for grass instead then this will absorb some of this impact and thus help you to reduce strain and thus avoid wearing away your cartilage or causing other knee problems.
When running you should increase the tempo of your foot paces instead of the length of the strides. Again, by keeping your knees mostly above your feet, you can reduce the impact of the jolt when your foot hits the tarmac and this can thus help you to limit knee damage.
Use Your Balls
Ahem. When running in any setting you should aim to run on the balls of your feet rather than on the heels. This will allow you to create more of a spring with your leg and foot which will not only increase your speed, but will also help you to cushion your footfalls more.
Use Other CV
If you find that you are still enduring knee problems or other joint pains, then note that you can get a lot of the benefits of running from other forms of CV. For instance if you use a rowing machine, or if you go swimming, then this will allow you to burn the same number of calories and in fact may help you to tone up more of the muscles around your body. Because these forms are low no-impact though you aren’t placing any strain on your joints or your shins.
Getting the right shoes is an important way to avoid joint pain. Make sure that your shoes are as supportive as possible, and look for shoes that have cushioning in the soles and/or heels which can help again to absorb some of the impact as you run.
You can also increase this cushioning layer with the right pair of insoles – such as the springbak speedsoles which are made of a patented rubber material that claims to help reduce shin splints.
About the Author
Sherry Walker provides information on how to avoid joint pain in a few steps as well as offers minimally invasive hip surgery treatments.