Running is a great way to burn calories and get the circulatory system
working. Nearly the same number of calories are burned when walking or running! However,
walking 2 miles would take nearly twice the time as it would to run those miles. Running or
walking are great aerobic exercises which people over-look when traveling short distances.
Instead of walking to a nearby store, people take their cars for short treks. Most beginning
runners should start with walking, in order to increase stamina and build endurance. Also, by
walking, the person knows his/her limits. Once the walker feels comfortable traveling 20-30
minutes without stopping, running that distance is the next step. Be sure to wear the proper
foot-wear, as un-cushioned shoes will cause foot sores, and possible injuries. Also, keep up the
amount of fluids you take into your body. Especially in the summer heat, large amounts of liquids
are vital; the more you drink, the longer your body will be hydrated throughout the day.
Warming Up: A suggested practice is to run a 2-3 minute warm-up jog. This pre-run jog will get
your muscles working and loosen them up.
Stretching: After taking a warm-up run, the runner should stretch. Stretching is very important
in injury prevention. If you do not stretch, you can increase the likelihood of getting cramps,
Cooling Down: Be sure that you do not come to a complete stop after you run. Walking around
for a bit will cool down your muscles and give them a chance to relax, without completely
stopping. If you simply stop after your workout, your muscles will soon tighten and your muscles
will be sore.
Post-run Stretch: It is important to stretch before you run, but it is also very important to stretch
after running. As cooling down, this prevents your muscles from tightening up and becoming
Common Injuries: Some of the most common injuries among runners include: shin splints, and
plantar fascitis. Shin splints are pains in the front of the legs, from the knees and below. One of
the largest reasons for this injury is lack of support in the shoes. When the runner wears unstable
shoes, they can be very vulnerable to shin splints. Another common cause for shin splints is
"pounding" when you run; when the runner comes down with too much force and there is not
enough cushion to support the entire force. To avoid shin splints, try to be light on your feet and
not to stomp on the ground with too much force. This is often hard to avoid when coming down
hills, but can be minimized. Plantar fascitis is an ailment involving the Achilles tendon, the
muscle connecting the heel of the foot to the arch of the foot (back of the ankle.) This condition
is brought about when the shoes are not giving enough support to the runner and causes pain in
the arch of the foot. In order to relieve the pain from this type of sore, apply an ice pack for