Beginner Running Program in Kirkwood, MO
Beginner running program in Kirkwood, MO. There are numerous benefits to starting a running program: 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’re just starting a beginner running program in Kirkwood, MO, you may have doubts about how to proceed, and if you’re healthy enough to hold up to increased exertion. Experienced physical therapists like those at Axes know how to help people increase their physical activity safely and effectively. Whether you want to return to form after a sports or work-related injury or are just trying to get healthier, our team can help you learn proper form, understand if you’re healthy enough to begin a running program, and treat any running-related injuries you may sustain.
6 Benefits of Starting a Beginner Running Program
Running offers many physical and mental health benefits, including:
- Weight management — Most people burns about 80 to 140 calories for every mile run, 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 helps to strengthen the muscles in the legs, abdomen, and back, and greatly increases lung capacity and endurance.
- Better mood — Running has been shown to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression by producing endorphins and serotonin, the brain’s natural feel-good hormones.
- Increased longevity — Some studies indicate that running may lead to a longer lifespan. People who run live an average of three years longer than those who don’t.
- Accessibility — Running is an easy and economical way to get regular exercise and you can do it pretty much anywhere with just a pair of shoes. It it doesn’t require any specific skills or knowledge, and your regimen can be easily modified to suit individual needs, abilities, and limitations.
While you may feel that “runner’s high” right away, in order to get the full rewards of starting a beginners running program in Kirkwood, MO, you’ll need to make running a consistent habit.
6 Beginner Running Tips in Kirkwood, MO
Going from the couch to the track may give pause to some Kirkwood, 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 competition with others; it’s about determination, progressive improvement, and putting your body and mind in a better state. Below are the top 6 beginner running tips to ensure you get the full benefits of running.
- Be realistic and progress slowly — You may be excited to start your running program, and may have dreams of one day running a marathon. But if you haven’t done strenuous physical activity before, or you’re just getting back to activity after an injury or surgery, doing too much too soon could lead to injury, and trying to do something you can’t may make you want to stop altogether. Start out by running slowly, and slowly the distance you run as you go.
If your body isn’t used to physical activity, it’s OK to start by walking briskly for 30 minutes and progress to running later. You can also alternate between running and walking in 2-minute periods.
- Wear the right shoes — While shoes are the only “equipment” you need for running, it’s important to get the right ones. There are many advantages to getting proper running shoes, including more comfort, better performance, and injury prevention.
- Warm up and cool down — Even Olympic athletes need to warm up before any physical activity. Dynamic exercises like high knees that improve 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 reduce soreness.
- Complement your running program with strength and cross training — Running can lend itself to overuse injuries, so make sure you are maintaining your flexibility and keeping your muscles strong as you progress further into your program. A physical therapist can help you maintain and improve your current levels of flexibility and strength with a personalized strength training program.
- Stay hydrated and maintain a healthy diet — When we sweat, our bodies lose fluid. Adequate hydration increases recovery and performance, and minimizes cramping and headaches.
Running also requires a lot of fuel. You’ll need healthy carbs, protein, and nutrients to replenish your body. Having good nutrition also complements certain running benefits, like weight loss and reduced stress.
- Listen to your body — It will tell you if something isn’t right. Although some soreness is to be expected, pain might be an indication something is wrong. If pains gets worse or doesn’t go away, seek guidance from a specialist, or visit Axes for a free injury screening. It is safe to continue running 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 lead to limping
- Pain does NOT continue to increase over time
In a sense, running never gets easier, as you’ll keep having to push yourself to your limits to see the benefits. But the more you do it the more you’ll be motivated to continue doing it.
How a Physical Therapist in Kirkwood, MO Can Help Your Beginner Running Program
Our Kirkwood, MO physical therapists are experts at treating injuries, or other issues like easing 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 Kirkwood, MO can help your beginner running program with:
- Evaluating your current fitness level — A physical therapist in Kirkwood, MO can help you understand if you’re currently in good enough shape to run. If you’re not, we can develop a customized, safe, and effective exercise program to get to the level you need to be at.
- Create a customized exercise program — We can develop a beginner running program designed specifically your specific fitness level. We can also develop a cross training program. A physical therapist can also help you overcome plateaus, and introduce you to more demanding running exercises such as varying speeds or fartlek training.
- Teaching proper running techniques — Running in the right way is vital to running safely and getting all the possible benefits from your running program. We’ll show you appropriate balance and the best way to move your arms and legs, and we can perform motion video analysis to break down your movement.
We can also teach you the best warm-up and cool-down exercises and stretches to do.
- 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 customized program that improves strength, range of motion, endurance, and form while running or performing other exercises.
- Treating any running injuries — If you do sustain an injury, a physical therapist can help you return to running and other activities you love quickly and safely. If you’re experiencing 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 Kirkwood, MO physical therapists at Axes are here to help guide you through your beginner running program with safe exercises and techniques that have been proven to be effective.
Our Kirkwood, 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 For Help With Your Beginner Running Program in Kirkwood, MO
Starting a beginner running program in Kirkwood, MO can offer numerous benefits for both physical and mental health. However, many people aren’t sure how to start, or are unsure if their body can hold up to it. Professional physical therapists like those at Axes can help by creating a comprehensive fitness plan that will ensure you can enjoy the benefits of running safely. If you want to start a beginner running program in Kirkwood, MO, request an appointment online, or reach out to the Axes location most convenient for you.