Running regularly can improve both your physical and mental health. Whether you’re trying to maintain a healthy weight or relieve stress, running can be an integral part of a healthy lifestyle. Whether you want to become a runner or are a seasoned marathon pro, here are three things you can do to get the most out of your run.
1. Fuel Your Body
Give your body the fuel it needs before and after a run. Eat for energy before a workout with carbohydrates like a banana or whole-wheat toast. After your run, eat to rebuild your muscles and replenish your body with a combination of proteins and carbohydrates.
Ditch the sports drink for chocolate milk after exercising. The protein to carbohydrate ratio in chocolate milk is ideal for recovery. Experts recommend drinking a glass immediately after your run and again two hours later.
2. Stretch It Out
Stretching before and after a run can help lower your risk of injury. Schedule at least five minutes to stretch your calves, quads, and hamstrings before and after your run. Tight muscles can strain surrounding muscles, ligaments, and tendons and lead to a running injury.
About 80 percent of runners experience running-related injuries each year. Take our Injury Risk Assessment to learn what your training habits say about your risk of sustaining a running injury. To learn more about injury prevention, check out these tips for avoiding seven common running injuries.
3. Join a Run Club
A run club can be a great way to keep you motivated and committed to your goals. With a regular schedule, running clubs can be a great place to exercise with like-minded people and keep yourself accountable. Learn more about the St. Luke’s Health Run Club and download our 5K or Half Marathon Training Guides.
Whether you’d like to start running or need to get back on track after an injury, Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Group orthopedic experts can help. Find a doctor near you or schedule an appointment online at ApptASAP.org.
7 Steps to Become a Runner
How to Prevent 7 Common Running Injuries
Are You an Injury-Prone Runner? (Assessment)