A message from our partner Webber Naturals
Taking care of your joints
Running a marathon (or a shorter distance) is often a major challenge to the body. It is an exercise in willpower, determination, focus and resilience, requiring optimal functioning of the muscles and mind. Proper mental and physical preparation, nutrition and hydration are essential. Preventing injuries during pre-race training and during the event itself is also important. Having good bone density and healthy joints can limit pain during the race. Here are some tips for maintaining healthy bones and joints.
Get the right fuel
You already know that a balanced diet and good hydration are essential for having the energy to train and run a long distance. Did you know that it also plays a key role in recovery and injury prevention?
A balanced diet should include carbohydrates for energy, protein for tissue repair and building, fat for energy and vitamin absorption, fiber for proper digestion, and vitamins and minerals to maintain proper metabolism and body function.
Some vitamins and supplements have been shown to contribute to joint health. Turmeric is known for its anti-inflammatory properties, which help reduce joint pain. Glucosamine and chondroitin help protect against cartilage deterioration, while calcium helps maintain proper bone density.
Flexibility and stability
Running is a natural exercise for the human body and is an easy and painless exercise for most children. But as we age, our bodies develop bad habits and many people end up living a sedentary lifestyle. This reduces flexibility and weakens the muscles responsible for stability. Even during a workout, we may not be asking our bodies to perform the full range of motion. This increases the risk of injury, as the body is not prepared to deal with uneven terrain when running around town. Therefore, we need to ensure that our training program includes flexibility and muscle stabilization exercises for the legs, hips and upper body.
Warm-up and cool-down
A proper workout should always begin with a warm-up and end with a rest period. During the warm-up, focus on increasing your body temperature by raising your heart rate and gradually activating your muscles.
Flexibility and stretching exercises can be added to the warm-up to eliminate some stiffness. However, they should not be done for too long and the stretching should be dynamic and not static.
During the recovery phase, the goal is to slowly bring the body back to normal by lowering the heart rate through gentle movements, such as slow walking, while promoting blood circulation. Flexibility exercises and static stretching can be performed in this part of the workout. This helps to achieve optimal results in the joints and muscle tissue.
Making the right moves
Even though running is a natural activity, any slight imbalance can cause you to incorporate the wrong movements into your running routine. In the long run, this can have a significant impact on the body’s performance and lead to serious pain and injury. Most joint movements should be as linear as possible.
There are mobile apps that can slow down movement to identify problems. However, it can be difficult for a beginner to know what can be improved and how to do it. Many medical professionals, such as kinesiologists, physical therapists, and running coaches, can offer their expertise and help you identify potential problems with your movement.
Try other types of training
Running for a marathon is primarily a form of cardiovascular training, but including other types of training could help prevent unnecessary injury. Strength training exercises can help solidify joints while increasing the endurance of your muscles. A low-impact form of cardio (cycling, swimming or using an elliptical machine) can also help improve cardio while reducing the impact on your ankles and knees.
Training or running while tired or overtrained greatly increases the risk of injury. Make sure you get a good night’s sleep. You may feel the need to get more sleep with the increased energy expended during training during the day.
Part of the recovery process is to rehydrate with fluids and electrolytes. This includes restoring energy stores with carbohydrates and ensuring that the body has enough protein to build and repair muscle. It’s also a good idea to reduce inflammation from exercise and treat injuries as quickly as possible before they get worse. Also, don’t forget to treat tired and sore muscles.
In conclusion, take care of your body and your body will take care of you.
Check out our 6 natural supplements to relieve joint pain and stiffness to help you and your joints get ready for your next race.