Here are a few considerations to reduce your risk of injury:
Too much of a good thing, is NOT good
- Everyone needs a down day in their schedule where you still move and be active, but at a lower level. For instance, runners should not be running daily. It puts too much stress on bones and joints, and can contribute to muscle overuse. A day where you walk, swim or take a yoga class instead of run is an essential part of any exercise program.
Mix up your activity
- By doing a variety of activities, our bodies use a variety of muscles and movements and in a variety of ways. Try mixing things up: running, cycling, swimming or playing ball hockey all use different muscles. These are all great activities to keep us healthy, and a mix of challenges is always the best for us.
Consider your surface
- Runners should always be aware of their surface for running. Sidewalks are concrete and therefore very hard and unforgiving and are hard on joints and muscles. Pavement is a little softer; grass is even better (but uneven, which is another type of challenge!)
- Many tracks are available specifically for running or walking but they tend to be banked on the corners (sloped so that the outside edge of the track is higher on a curve), and when running on a track, you must alternate directions of running to compensate for this banking. If you always run in the same direction, one foot is on an angle and higher than the other, so it will overstress the joints and muscles of your foot and ankle.)