Running is one of the best ways to get in shape. While it may not be everybody’s favorite exercise, knowing the benefits to your physical and mental wellness will surely make you think of running in an entirely new light. The question, however, is – do you know how to run correctly?
Most people think that running is just about pacing, or simply the faster version of walking. What these people miss is that there is science to running properly. From breathing to posture – every muscle of your body must be coordinated to avoid injury. Maintaining proper posture doesn’t stop at your office posture chair. It is also a must on your other daily activities, such as running or any other fitness routine.
So what is the proper form and technique for an effective running routine?
1. Keep your head straight.
Looking straight ahead, approximately 30 to 40 yards in front of you, will allow you too have a clear view of your running path and program your sense of direction. It’s like a personalized form of GPS – whether you would like to take a left turn on the next corner or just go on straight ahead. Avoid leaning too forward or looking down as this may strain your neck and shoulders.
Also, keep your jaw and neck relaxed. Tense neck muscles will result to a shortened and tiring run.
2. Keep your shoulders down and back.
Hunching will restrict lung expansion. Running is strenuous and would require oxygen to keep your muscles and senses energized. Your shoulders should hang loosely and should be parallel to the ground.
Bend your elbows in a 90-degree angle and allow your arms to swing from your shoulders while maintaining the L-shape of your whole arm. Avoid carrying your elbows too high as it will cause tension to your shoulders and would tire you up quickly.
3. Proper mid-foot strike.
Generally, non-runners usually land on their heels first then roll to the ball of the foot. This type of footwork can cause injury in the long run especially on your hamstring. It is recommended to learn the mid-foot landing when you run as it provides greater support and shock absorption. You can start by walking and increase your pace once you get hold of the technique.
To allow proper oxygenation to your whole body while running, you should do the abdominal breathing, and breathe through your mouth. Chest breathing may work just fine but you will be taking in shallow breaths that can be tiring for your chest muscles.
Remember, oxygen fuels your cells and muscles so you need to have more of it and maximize each breath. The major muscles that your should be utilizing when running are your cardiac and leg muscles.
If you know how to breathe properly, then you can sustain your running longer.
It doesn’t really mean that you need to find a comfortable office chair or chair for back pain when you take a rest from running. You can brisk walk in between running. This is to allow your muscles to adapt to the stress and not tear due to over-fatigue. It is normal for you to feel leg aches – it generally tells you that the routine is working but too much pain says otherwise.
You can also do stretching and deep breathing exercises for your body to transition better from being active to its resting state.
Above are 5 essential points to remember when you schedule your next running escapade. Keep in mind that posture is one of the factors to achieve that effective running form and get better results.