Running can be fantastic for your health. It’s a great way to lose weight, build lean muscle, improve your stamina, your cardiovascular health, and much, much more. It’s also free, easy, and you can do it just about anywhere. But there are dangers to running and ignoring them is an easy way to put yourself at more risk of encountering them head-on. So, what are the common health risks running alongside you and how do you leave them in the dust?
Perhaps the most common issue of them all, patellofemoral pain syndrome, also known as runner’s knee, happens when you irritate the knee joint. It presents as pain and physical tenderness around the joint and if you don’t take care of it, it can end up doing lasting damage to your knees. Running is a high-impact exercise, so it’s important to take care of the joints that are feeling the impact. Look into improving your running form, but you can also make sure you’re looking after your knees with the right exercises. If you end up getting runner’s knee, it’s best to treat it with an ice pack. Apply it for twenty minutes every three hours and it should feel much better within a couple of days. If it doesn’t, you might need a trip to the doctor.
Blood pressure issues
On a more serious note, though they are uncommon, blood clots have been known to occur more regularly in runners that in people that do other exercises. If one of these blood clots breaks off, it can move to the lung where it becomes a pulmonary embolism, which is both incredibly painful and potentially fatal. Otherwise, there are a lot of issues with swelling when running due to blood pressure that can lead to further joint pain. There are socks to buy that compress the area, keeping your blood pressure at safe levels and helping to relieve swelling. They may look a little odd, but if you want to run as best you can, you better get used to wearing things that look a little odd.
Something painful is afoot
If you’re part of a running group, you might have already seen it. If not, you probably will at some point. Everyone’s doing fine, until someone suddenly collapses, howling and clutching their foot. The most likely explanation, unless they’ve somehow broken a toe, is plantar fasciitis. This is an incredibly painful injury that occurs when the plantar fascia is inflamed and will put you off your feet for around six to eight weeks. It may even require surgery to fix. The best prevention for plantar fasciitis, as well as a good ward against runner’s knee and other joint damage, is to get proper running shoes with good arch support.
As with all exercise, if you want to get the most out of it, you have to inform yourself and do it responsibly. Running can bring some health risks with it, but the tips above should help you nimbly navigate around them.
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