How Running Can Affect Your Posture

Most of us are pretty conscious of our health. We walk, we jog, ride bikes and some of us run. We try to eat healthy and get regular check ups. But many of us are often doing more harm than good by putting unneeded stress on our body. Ways we we do more harm than good:

  • Improper shoes
  • Not stretching properly
  • Bad form when running
  • Poor diet

Proper Footwear

There are a lot of ways you can go about solving these issues. Most running stores will have insoles or specialty shoes that will be perfect for your situation. If you have high or low arches there are specific products for you. If you have flat feet, or chronic ankle and knee pain, there are similar products which can help you. These issues can be addressed by seeing a chiropractor as well but what we fix in the chiropractic office can be avoided by preparing yourself with the right tools. Shoes and specialty insoles can even help to improve your form which is one of the main causes of pain from exercise.

When to Stretch

Stretching thoroughly after exercise will ensure that your muscles don’t get too tight. Tight muscles cause movement imbalances and lead to bad form as well as tight joints and overcompensating muscles elsewhere in the body. Most sports medicine experts say that it’s better to perform long static stretches after exercise rather than before. Each static stretch should last more than 20 seconds to get the full benefit of stretching in a muscle. Before exercise it’s recommended that you warm up and perform dynamic stretches. Static stretches before exercise can actually lead to higher instances of injury and reduced performance. Specific muscles that you will want to stretch include your hamstrings, quadriceps, hip flexors and glutes. One issue that we see a lot of in our clinic is anterior/posterior pelvic tilt. These bad posture issues can be caused by tight lower back, glutes and/or hip flexors.

Fixing Form

Running might not seem like a skill we have to learn, but in fact there are ways to improve the impact running has on our bodies. From head to toe, it’s important we gaze ahead rather than look down to ensure spinal alignment. Be sure not to tilt your head down. Next, check your shoulders and fix their position if they are rounding forward. Be sure your arms are relaxed with a free swing. Try to land on the mid-foot section as opposed to your heel to avoid knee impact. In general, the higher you lift up in a run the harder you come down. This reverberation can cause a vertical jostle that can throw your pelvic tilt, spine and joints out of line.

Nutrition

Hydration and nutrition are likewise also very important when exercising. When you exercise you cause damage to your joints and muscles. It’s important to make sure you are consuming enough food containing protein and micronutrients in order to rebuild the muscle tissue and maintain joint health. If you aren’t properly hydrated you won’t be able to perform or recover as well and you could potentially experience heat stroke if running on a hot day while dehydrated.

If you find yourself injured or if you’re experiencing any pain associated with running please do not hesitate to contact us. We would be glad to help you become the healthy person that you want to be. Staying active is important and if you’re avoiding exercise due to pain, its time you take care of it.