Now that the weather is getting nicer, many people are starting to run outside again. Whether you are an experienced runner, a casual jogger, or someone who may be trying to get into a running routine for the first time, being properly prepared for you run is a must! A properly fitted pair of running shoes is a good start. Picking the right shoes can be tough but many athletic shoe stores can help you find the perfect fit for you.
A proper 5 -10 minute dynamic warm-up before your run is a great way to get your body ready for some exercise. An example of a quick warm-up would involve walking knee hugs, a basic skip, lateral shuffles, high knees, butt kicks and so on. Save the static stretching for after your workout when your muscles are warm and tired. A dynamic warm up and stretching cool down will definitely reduce your risk of injury. For those that are just trying to get into a routine for the first time or maybe coming back from an injury, it is important to start slowly.
When you’re deciding on how long or at what pace you want to run, work your way up over time. If you set a goal to run the Boston Marathon next year, make yourself a solid plan of what distances you want to hit and when you want to hit them. Set minor goals along the way and reward yourself for hitting them! Nobody gets off their couch and runs a marathon the next day!
A lifelong resident of Agawam, Ryan Rackliffe is Health and Wellness Director of the Agawam YMCA. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science from Westfield State University and is an ACSM Certified Exercise Physiologist, First Aid and CPR/AED certified. A member of American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), he has presented at annual meetings, college conferences and is active in the local fitness community. An avid fan of sport and fitness, he enjoys playing and watching sports, kayaking, and hiking in his spare time.