Beginner Running Program in Eureka, MO
Beginner running program in Eureka, MO. The benefits of running are any: it can improve your mood, help you manage your weight, reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, and you can do it almost anywhere. But, if you want to start a beginner running program in Eureka, MO, you may have doubts about how to get started, and how your body’s going handle more physical activity than you’re used to. Licensed physical therapists like those at Axes are experts in movement health and the musculoskeletal system. Whether you’re hoping to return to form after a sports or work-related injury or just need to be more active in your day-to-day life, our team can help you learn proper form, recover from any pre-existing injuries, and treat any injuries or soreness you experience in your running program.
6 Benefits of Starting a Beginner Running Program
When you start a running program, your body and mind receive numerous benefits, including:
- Weight management — The average person burns about 80 to 140 calories per mile, making running an excellent way to lose weight.
- Improved cardiovascular health — Running improves heart and lung function and reduces heart disease risk factors like hypertension and cholesterol.
- Increased muscle strength and endurance — Running works the muscles in the legs, abdomen, and back, and greatly increases lung capacity and endurance.
- Better mental health — Running is known to improve your mental health by producing endorphins and serotonin, chemicals that stabilize your mood and relieve pain.
- Increased longevity — Regular running has been linked to a longer lifespan. People who run live an average of three years longer than those who don’t.
- Convenience — Running is an easy and budget-friendly way to get regular exercise that doesn’t require equipment or a special field or court. It can be done by people of most ages and fitness levels, and your routine can be easily modified to suit individual needs, abilities, and limitations.
While it likely won’t take long to get the proverbial “runner’s high“, in order to truly reap the rewards of starting a beginners running program in Eureka, MO, you’ll need to do it consistently, and do it the right way.
6 Beginner Running Tips in Eureka, MO
Going from the couch to the track may be difficult for some Eureka, MO residents, but in truth it’s as easy as putting on your shoes, going out the door, and hitting your stride. A beginner running program isn’t about “winning;” it’s about persistence, progressive improvement, and putting your body and mind in a better state. Below are the top 6 beginner running tips to make sure you start your program safely, and stay motivated to continue it.
- Set realistic goals and progress gradually — You may be excited to start your running program, and may be challenging yourself to one day run that 4-minute mile. But if you’re body isn’t used to it, or you’re just getting back to activity after an injury or surgery, doing too much too soon could lead to injury, and setting unrealistic goals may make you unmotivated. Begin your program at a slow pace, and gradually the distance you run as your progress in your program.
If you feel like you’re very out of shape, it’s OK to start by walking rapidly for 30 minutes and progress to running later. Another option is to alternate between running and walking in 2-minute intervals.
- Get the right footwear — While shoes are the only “equipment” you need for running, it’s important to get the right ones. There are many pros to getting proper running shoes, including increased comfort, better performance, and injury prevention.
- Warm up and cool down — Even professional athletes need to warm up before any physical activity. Stretching and exercises like hip rotation and knee-to-chest that enhance flexibility will help prepare your body for the stress of running. After the run, it’s important to do static stretches and rest to help prevent injuries and feels less soreness.
- Combine running with strength and cross training — Muscle imbalances impact how forces go through our joints, and can cause injury or soreness. Having hip and glute muscles can help correct those imbalances. You also need to improve and maintain range of motion in your lower body and core.
- Make sure you’re well-hydrated and maintain a healthy diet — When we sweat, our bodies lose fluid. Adequate hydration increases recovery and performance, and minimizes negative side-effects.
Running also burns up a lot of energy. A healthy diet is necessary to get that energy back. Having good nutrition will also enhance certain running benefits, like weight loss and improved mental health.
- Listen to your body — It will tell you if something isn’t right. Although aches and pains are normal as you begin your running program, don’t ignore them. If pains gets worse or doesn’t go away, seek guidance from a specialist, or visit Axes for a free injury screening. You can still run as long as you follow these four guidelines regarding your progression:
- The pain is NOT sharp (under 3/10)
- After completing a walk/run session, if you do NOT have increased swelling and or pain for >2 hours, it is safe to advance to the next session
- The presence of pain does NOT change how you walk or run
- Pain does NOT continue to increase over time
In a sense, running never gets easier, as the healthier you are the more you’ll have to run to reach your limits. But the more you do it the more you’ll be motivated to continue doing it.
How a Physical Therapist in Eureka, MO Can Help Your Beginner Running Program
Our Eureka, MO physical therapists are experts at treating injuries, or other musculoskeletal problems such as dealing with chronic pain. But a licensed physical therapist can also contribute to a relatively healthy person’s well-being. With exercises and techniques proven to work through study and research, an Axes physical therapist in Eureka, MO can help your beginner running program with:
- Assessing your current fitness level — A physical therapist in Eureka, MO can help determine what your current health level is, and develop a beginner running program that is safe for you.
- Design a personalized exercise program — We can help you come up with a beginner running program based on your specific needs and limitations. We can also develop a cross training program. A physical therapist can also push you to challenge yourself, and introduce you to more rigorous running programs such as varying speeds or fartlek training.
- Teaching proper running techniques — Correct technique is vital to running safely and getting all the possible benefits from your running program. We’ll show you correct running form, and we also use motion video analysis to break down your movement.
We can also teach you warm-up techniques to do before your run, and the best static stretches to do after.
- Injury prevention — Once you start a running program, you don’t want to go back. We’ll help you get in the best shape possible through a personalized program that boosts strength, flexibility, endurance, and coordination while running or performing other exercises.
- Addressing injuries if they occur — If you do become injured, a physical therapist can help you return to running and other activities you love quickly and safely. If you’re suffering from significant soreness, a physical therapist can reduce swelling and pain in your soft tissue.
Whether you’re looking to get into shape for the first time in a while, or get back to the top of your game after an injury or surgery, the Eureka, MO physical therapists at Axes are here to help you develop and maintain your beginner running program.
Our Eureka, MO physical therapists can also assist you with:
- Chronic Pain Treatment
- Spine Specialist Near Me
- MCL Injury
- Shoulder Pain
- Injury Prevention
- Knee Injury
- Joint Pain
Call Axes to Start Your Beginner Running Program in Eureka, MO
Starting a beginner running program in Eureka, MO can offer numerous benefits for both physical and mental health. However, many people aren’t sure how to start, or are nervous about how it’s going to go. Professional physical therapists like those at Axes can help by developing a comprehensive exercise program that will ensure you can enjoy the benefits of running safely. If you’re thinking about starting a beginner running program in Eureka, MO, request an appointment online, or reach out to the Axes location closest to you.