Safely Return to Your Running Routine
Summer weather is in full swing, and with it comes our desire to spend more time outdoors. We have been inside our homes more in the past year, and are eager to get outside and enjoy the nice weather. Driving down the street, you may notice more people out running and walking, and may be eager to get out and exercise yourself. But before setting out for a jog, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure you keep your body happy and healthy for the summer months.
One of the most important parts of starting back into a running routine, is a slow ramp up, trying not to do too much too soon. Increasing your mileage and pace too fast too soon often leads to increased risk of overuse injury, typically it is recommended to not increase by more than 10% per week.
Another important of aspect of decreasing injury risk, is a proper warm up and cool down. This gets our blood flowing to warm up our muscles for the activity at hand, and then helps to slowly lower our heart rate after running. Before activity we recommend a dynamic warm up, this can involve a series of skips, light body weight lower extremity exercises, and hip mobility drills. Following a run, a light cool down is recommended to slowly lower our heart rate, this would be a good time for static stretching. With more sitting being done in the past year, most of us have tighter hip flexors than usual, so making sure that we stretch the front of the hip will help ensure we can maintain full range of motion of the hip during running gait.
Running is a great way to enjoy the outdoors during the summer months, all you need is a pair of sneakers and you can head out the doors. Remember to take it slow as you build up, and warm up your muscles prior to activity, and enjoy the beautiful Maine summer weather as you hit the pavement!