Whether you are hitting the treadmill or the trails outside, knee pain or injury is always on a runner's mind. Here are some preventative tips:
- Warm up!! Stretch and do some warm-up exercises like Sun Salutations before you run. If you run in the early morning, take a hot shower first to help warm up your muscles.
- If you run outside opt for a dirt path. The softer terrain is easier on your joints.
- Avoid running downhill if you can, since running down an incline can really do damage to your knees and shins. If you do indeed find yourself running up a hill (which is great), run down the other side in a switch back, zig-zag pattern. Going diagonally decreases the stress to the knee joint.
- Make sure your sneakers are appropriate for your foot type. If you have high arches or are flat-footed, you'll need more support.
- Make sure your sneaks are not too old or worn out. If you can't remember when you bought your last pair of kicks, chances are, it's time for some new ones. You can also do the twist test.
- If your knees are hurting you right now, you may have some microscopic tears in your muscles or tendons. Take a little break from running. To keep up your cardio routine, swim, walk, or hop on an elliptical trainer.
- Stretch out your hamstrings, quads and calves before running hard (jog for about 5 minutes and then stretch) and after running. If these muscles are tight, they'll put pressure on your knee.
- When you're not running, trade your high heels in for some supportive flats.
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