Has the recent change in weather brought a renewed energy to your fitness routine? With extended daylight, warm temperatures, and fresh foliage comes an increased desire to be more active outdoors. It’s the perfect time to add more activity to your life. But jumping in too quickly can lead to injuries that could haunt you all summer. Here are some things to keep in mind as you increase your activity level.
Appropriate foot gear
Most injuries, especially overuse injuries, come from issues with gear; the most common issues are with shoes. If you are unable to recall when you purchased your last pair of exercise shoes, I recommend you splurge on a new pair.
Professionals at therunnersguide.com recommended replacing running shoes every 300 to 500 miles or six to eight months, whichever comes first. A number of factors can go into the longevity of your shoes: variables such as body weight, running form, the environment, and intensity can all play a role.
As shoes become worn, the amount of cushioning is dramatically decreased, leading to increased impact being absorbed in your joints and bones. When you buy a new pair, head to a special running store to have your feet analyzed and get shoes that best suit your needs.
Instead of tossing your old shoes in the trash, donate them to programs like Nike’s “reuse a shoe” which recycles your old sneakers for projects like new track and playground surfaces across the country.
Ease back into it
The first consecutive string of summer days may motivate you to bite off more than you can chew. Limit yourself, even if you feel good. Jumping into a routine too quickly can cause common overuse injuries like shin splints, stress fractures, iliotibial band syndrome, tendinitis, or just old-fashioned soreness. You want to do all you can to avoid burnout.
Allow yourself some rest days, which, depending on your current fitness level, may mean a few things. Rest days can range from doing nothing outside your normal daily activities to going for an easy jog, bike, or walk. As you continue to gain comfort and consistency in your routine, slowly increase the duration and or intensity of your workout.
Do you have any tips that you find to work well for fending off overuse injuries? Comment below; we’d love to hear them!