In this article, I will give out simple 5 tips to injury proof body for runners. And mind you, there are no exercises here but general lifestyle tips which you can follow anytime of the day. So let’s get started.
Running is a simple sport wherein a person puts one foot in front of the other. The sport is very exciting and addictive. It is kind of a meditative process where you focus on your form, strides, breathing etc. Basically you are in sync with yourself!
But then as exciting it seems, it is injury prone also. Running involves almost the whole body. A weakness or misalignment in one part will lead to overcompensation by another and thus causing an injury.
The injury, small at the beginning is most of the time ignored in a huff by the runner and he continues to train on it and making it worse. And the cycle continues unless he takes time to rehab and makes changes in his lifestyle to prevent injuries.
Yes, most of the injuries runners take on are lifestyle related. Training mistakes are easy to rectify but lifestyle ones are bit difficult. So, today I will give just 5 changes in lifestyle which you can make towards a healthier and stronger body.
At first people in the office used to eye me as if I am crazy when they saw me standing in front of the chair while working on my computer. But they are okay now when the came to know that I run ultras and it must be some psycho way of training.
There is a concept of standing desk which is very popular nowadays. If you can’t afford one, then make a tall pillar of fat books on our table to start with.
The constant standing on your two feet will make them strong to withstand the daily pounding and build endurance. I learnt this technique from Dean Karnazes in his book The Ultramarathon Man. But I use it not everyday but yes, when I see myself sitting a lot throughout the day, I make an effort to log some standing time.
Another thing, when I am travelling in metros, I stand and travel or maybe waiting for someone, I will stand instead of sitting down. And while standing I keep shuffling or do calf raises. Maybe sometimes do half squats in private, of course. I guess it all adds up to make a strong body.
2. Move throughout the day
Sitting at one place is a big no-no. And I am sitting down on my comfy chair right now as I write this article! I don’t want to hide but I get lazy once in a while.
So, back to the issue of moving as much as possible throughout the day. It is a myth that if I slog my ass off in the morning and evening workout, I don’t need anything else. You are highly mistaken then! Sitting is the biggest killer in the world today.
Sitting causes as many problems as smoking does! That’s why they have invented step trackers like Fitbit. 10,000 steps they say you must walk everyday single day. I say if on your normal training days, if you can achieve the 10 grand number, then my friend, you can show your longest finger to injury. On long run days, I will say be active atleast.
2. Park your car at a distance from the entrance of where ever you are going, just to walk those extra steps.
3. If you can cycle instead of driving, then cycle. If you can walk, then nothing like it.
4. Walk the talk. Walk when you are talking on mobile.
5. If it is a one to one meeting with someone, then take a walk with that person, go in fresh air. You will be more creative and have lots of new ideas.
6. Play with your kids in the park for a change. Don’t check you phone when you are with them.
3. Eat clean
Eating healthy and nutritious food will help you maintain or lose weight which in turn will lead to less stress on your muscles and joints. Hence, less chances of injuries. Also, this clean food will aid the recovery process and you can hammer that workout the next day, and day after that without any fear of an injury.
So, grab that salad, veggies and put it in your system. And be consistent with it. It doesn’t matter if you eat properly for just a day or two. It has to be weeks after week, months after months and year after year.
Of course, you can cheat once in a while but remember the end goal. The end goal is to run injury free with a healthy and strong body. Haven’t you seen all the top athletes are turning vegan or vegetarian?
If you read Scott Jurek’s book Eat and Run, he says that since he turned vegan, his recovery time was shortened and he got less injured. Even Mike Arnstien aka The Fruitarian vouches with this theory.
You become what you put in your body. You become a potato chips or a cheese burger if you eat one. I am writing this because I know for once that eating well is the biggest part of the puzzle of becoming lean and injury free.
But I have been procrastinating. But not anymore! I am going to eat well and I will like to motivate you to eat well too.
4. Walk Barefoot
Yes, walk barefoot as much as you can. At least in the house. The shoes doesn’t allow the numerous tiny foot muscles to be used hence, they become weak and are injury prone.
I faced this situation when I was preparing for the Mumbai Marathon few years back. A couple of weeks before the race, I got injured with Plantar Fasciitis. Man, can I describe to you the frustration I went through! I had to forgo the race and started rehabilitating.
The best thing I discovered among other things in healing PF was strengthening the foot muscles. Till date I follow those tiny little exercises.
Sleep is the most under rated issue when it comes to injury prevention. If you train like a champion, then you need to sleep like a champion too. Sleep helps in the recovery process.
Now during sleep, the body seems to be at rest from outside but inside it is working really hard to release growth hormones to stimulate and grow muscles and reduce fatigue. If we don’t give the body adequate sleep, it then wakes up tired, an ideal condition to get injured.
So, get your sleep of atleast 7-8 hours. Again SLEEP LIKE A CHAMPION!
Here I come to the finish of the 5 tips to injury proof a runners body , just by making some lifestyle changes.
Till then stay fit and keep running.
What lifestyle tips do you follow to avoid injury?
How many of the above methods are you following religiously?