Getting back to running (in the new year)

Get back into running (in the new year)

If you’re hoping to improve your fitness or work off the festive treats after Christmas, and are thinking about how to safely get back into running, the team at North West Physiotherapy can help.

In this blog, we look at who might benefit from this type of exercise and how to prepare to help reduce the chance of injury.

Benefits of running

You don’t need to head to the gym to get the most out of a cardio workout, and running is a type of exercise that can have a range of positive impacts on your health.

People of all ages and fitness levels can benefit – the intensity and frequency of the running program just needs to suit the individual’s level of experience and fitness.

Some benefits include:

  • Increased strength of muscles and bones
  • Improved cardiovascular fitness
  • Improved psychological well-being

Preparing for a run

Before running, a basic warm up and some dynamic stretching should be performed to minimise the chance of injury.

This can be as simple as a short walk/slow jog to prepare the muscles required for running.

Dynamic stretches, such as leg swings and calf stretches on a kerb, will help the muscles and tendons get ready for the range of motion required for running.

Common running injuries and how to prevent them

Common running injuries include:

  • Shin splints (tibial periostitis)
  • Runner’s knee (patellofemoral pain syndrome)
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Achilles, patellar and gluteal tendinopathies

These conditions may be prevented by warming up properly prior to running, wearing appropriate supportive footwear and orthotics if required, and starting the running program at an appropriate level of frequency and intensity.

For most people who are returning to running after a reasonable break, this means starting with short, slow runs with at least one day of rest in between.

Once this is being tolerated well, the length and speed of the runs can be increased, while still maintaining at least one day of rest for the body to recover in between.

Who should avoid running?

There are many conditions which may be negatively impacted by running, including but not limited to:

  • Inflammatory arthropathies
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Chronic tendinopathies
  • Acute lower limb injuries
  • Lumbar disc herniations

That’s not to say that all people with these conditions shouldn’t run, but that will need to be decided in consultation with a physiotherapist.

Exercise alternatives for those who aren’t able to run

For people who are unable to tolerate the loading and jarring associated with running, other activities with similar benefits include cycling, rowing, swimming and using an elliptical trainer.

Get back into running:

So, if you’re ready to get back into running, chatting with one of our friendly physiotherapists might help you determine if you’re ready to make that first leap.

Give the team a call, or enquire online now to make an appointment.

North West Physiotherapy is your one-stop pain relief and healthy living practice in Brisbane. With three clinics across North Brisbane; Everton ParkKeperra, Eatons Hill and Nundah our aim is to provide holistic healthcare solution to suit your specific lifestyle. 

Our services include Physiotherapy, Sports PhysioHydrotherapyPilates, PodiatryDry NeedlingMassageWomens Health, and Seniors Strength and Balance Classes. Please note that services vary across our clinics. 

Appointments available 6am – 7:30pm Monday to Friday, and 8am – 12:30pm on Saturdays. Book online here or call us on 07 3353 4111.