10 DOs and DON'Ts
By Albert Tan
Running provides both the benefits and gains in term of health and fitness. This encourages people to take running as their hobby or sport. Seeing people run everyday in the park, gym, or track really excites me as this shows that more people are health and fitness conscious.
However, most people are not exposed to the safety precautions that they ought to know and do the right thing to avoid dangers and injuries. Here are some of the DOs and DON’Ts you must know while training for your run.
Do medical checkup before starting a running program
It is good to run for our health and for fitness. However, I always emphasise on safety first. Do a full medical checkup first before even planning to embark on this endurance running journey. Should there be any medical history or new found metabolic syndrome, seek the doctor’s advice and clearance on whether you are fit enough to start the program.
Do warm up and stretching
Always remember to warm up and stretch before you start your workout. A proper warm up followed by stretching will assist in helping you save more energy during the run and avoid any unnecessary injuries such as muscle pull, strain and spraining ankle. Perform warm-up and stretching when you are going for a high speed running workout or high intense resistance training. If you are doing a long slow run for the day, warm-up might not be necessary.
Do inform others about your training
Inform those who are close to you about your training venue and time if possible. It can be your spouse, parents, housemates or close friends especially those who get to see you most of the time throughout the day. It is advisable to bring a training companion along or run with a group of runners from a club so that there will be people around who know your whereabouts.
Do wear proper run attire and shoes
You will not be able to enjoy running if you wear the wrong type of shoes and attire that is too loose or too tight. Wearing clothing that easily absorbs sweat will make it heavy for you to run. Try the dry fit clothing wear it can help dissipate sweat and make it lighter as well as cooling your body at the same time. You should wear shoes that are designed for running and not court shoes or any other types of sneakers.
Do watch out for your surroundings
If you are running on the road, watch out for cars and motorcycles. Give signal to drivers or riders if you wish to cross the road. If you are running in the park, you may come across wild animals such as monkeys, monitor lizards, snakes and even stray dogs. Do watch out for these animals even if they seem quite friendly and tame as they sometimes can cause harm to runners without any reasons.
Don’t run in the dark
Some of you may have a hectic schedule and only have the night time to spare for your running. Many parks do not have proper lighting and the surrounding can be deemed. With that said, you should not attempt to run in such dark places. Choose a place that is bright and bring companions with you. There are running clubs that train and have runs at night. You can consider joining them. The other option would be running on a treadmill in your apartment gym or private gym.
Don’t listen to MP3 when running outdoor
It is nice to wear a headset and listen to your favorite songs while running; at least it can give you the motivation to run longer especially when you are running alone. But the priority is that we need to put safety first. Listening to loud music would make you vulnerable to dangers that can be caused by cars, motorcycles, dogs, and even criminals. The same rule applies when you are running in a race.
Don’t train with injury
There are times when you may encounter injury due to accident or overtraining. Some would continue to run with their injury. Doing so would only worsen the injury or delaying the recovery. Have one or two days off for the healing to take place. If the injury is not severe and you wish to proceed with your training, running on a soft surface would ease the impact. The best option is to do a cross training like swimming, cycling, weight training on non-affected areas.
Don’t run in worn-out shoes
I have seen people wearing shoes that were already worn-out for running. Although you may not feel the effect straight away, it will slowly affect your running muscles and cause muscle tightness, ankle sprain, knee and foot pain. Change your shoes after every 3 months if you are a regular runner who runs every day and 6 months if you are a non-regular runner.
Don’t wear jewelry while running
This may sound silly. Who would wear jewelry and go for a run? Well, there are some who would. But I would strongly suggest that you don’t, especially when you are running in an open area or on the road. This is to avoid snatch thieves from approaching you and cause harm to you. Leave the jewelry at home and wear them during appropriate function or events.
So do keep in mind of the Dos and Don’ts and put your safety above everything else.
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