VCSST_Run for Your Life!

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Run for Your LIFE!

Running is one of the most convenient ways to stay in shape and exercise on a regular basis. In most cases all you need is a comfortable pair of shoes, the clothes on your back, a water bottle, and a local trail or road to get started. You can do it on your own time schedule, anywhere, and it can be as easy or as hard as you want! Always check with your doctor before beginning a new exercise routine. Running is demanding on the body, which is why it is such a great form of overall exercise. But the body must be properly prepared for the challenges of running. Trying to run too long or too fast without adequate preparation may lead to soreness or may result in overuse injuries. Each step taken in running is actually a controlled fall resulting in tremendous force traveling through the body tissues – up to 3 times one’s bodyweight! Running is a series of repetitive forces that our tissues must accept and absorb. Our tissues are resilient and can adapt to these forces with a gradual increase in our training distance and intensity. Unfortunately, injuries can occur with the repetitive nature of the sport and time spent healing from injury equates to less time exercising effectively. Whether you are an experienced runner or a beginner, an exercise program that includes some form of cross-training 2 to 3 times a week, during which you are resting from the activity of running itself, can not

only reduce injury risk, but may also improve performance in some cases. Triathletes interpose training of cycling and swimming which allows active rest from running and provides varied training stimuli to their muscles. Even if you are not a triathlete, there are other varied movement practices that you can include in your exercise regimen, such as resistance training, yoga, and Pilates, to name a few, that can improve your overall health as a runner. If you enjoy running, then you should begin to think long-term and focus on being a more well -rounded athlete. If the goal is to enjoy this pure and easily accessible sport for the rest of your life, then you must put in the work outside of running to maintain a healthy balance between the demands of the sport and the demands of your body. A physical therapist can be a guide in how best to implement a cross- training program into your running schedule. If attempting to return to running post-injury, physical therapists are experts in guiding individuals back to activity in a progressive and safe manner. Every patient is unique and their body type, physical history, goals, life stresses... etc. must be taken into account to determine the best training strategy for them to remain injury-free and continue running for years to come. Call us today at (804) 249-8277 to learn more about how a training program can keep you running without injury and enjoying life.

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