Beginner Running Program in O’Fallon, MO
Beginner running program in O’Fallon, MO. There are numerous reasons to begin a running program: it can boost mental health, burn fat, improve your cardiovascular health, and almost anybody can do it, just about anywhere. But, if you’re just starting a beginner running program in O’Fallon, MO, you may not know how to proceed, and how your body’s going handle increased exertion. Professional physical therapists like the ones we have here at Axes know how to help people move their bodies safely and effectively. Whether you’re hoping to get back into shape 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 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 — The average person burns about 80 to 140 calories per mile, making running an excellent way to lose weight.
- Improved cardiovascular health — Running helps to strengthen the heart and lungs, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Increased muscle strength and endurance — Running helps to strengthen the muscles in the legs, abdomen, and back, helping to improve overall fitness and endurance.
- Better mental health — Running is known to improve your mental health by releasing endorphins and serotonin, chemicals that improve your mood.
- Longer lifespan — Regular running has been linked 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 budget-friendly way to get consistent exercise and you can do it pretty much anywhere with just socks, shoes, shorts, and a shirt. It can be done by people of most ages and fitness levels, and your program can be adapted to your current health and physical abilities.
While it probably won’t take long to get the proverbial “runner’s high“, in order to get the full rewards of starting a beginners running program in O’Fallon, MO, you’ll need to do it consistently, and do it the right way.
6 Beginner Running Tips in O’Fallon, MO
Getting from the couch to the track may give pause to some O’Fallon, MO residents, but to get started, all you need to do is put a pair of shoes on. A beginner running program isn’t about “winning;” it’s about persistence, constant improvement, and taking care of your body. Below are the top 6 beginner running tips to make sure you begin your program safely, and stay motivated to continue it.
- Set realistic goals and progress gradually — You’re probably excited to start your running program, and may have dreams of one day running that 4-minute mile. But if you haven’t done strenuous physical exercise in a while, or you’re just getting back to activity after an injury, doing too much too soon could lead to injury, and trying to do something unrealistic may make you want to stop altogether. Start out at a slow pace, and gradually the distance you run in the coming weeks.
If your body isn’t used to strenuous exercise, it’s OK to start by walking briskly for half an hour and start running once you’re body’s used to an increased heart rate. Another option is to switch between running and walking in 2-minute intervals.
- 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 pros to getting good running shoes, including increased comfort, better performance, and injury prevention.
- Warm up and cool down — Even Olympic athletes need to warm up before any physical activity. Stretching and exercises like hip rotation and knee-to-chest that enhance range of motion will help get your body ready for the rigors of running. After the run, it’s important to do static stretches and rest to help reduce the risk of injuries and recover faster.
- Combine running with strength and cross training — Muscle imbalances affect how our joints experience force, and can cause injury or soreness. Having strong gluteal muscles and hip abductors can help ease the stress that running puts on the body. You also need to improve and maintain flexibility in your lower body and core.
- 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 energy. You’ll need healthy carbs, protein, and nutrients to replenish your body. Having good nutrition will also enhance certain running benefits, such as weight management and improved mental health.
- 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 our 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 over 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 some ways 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 O’Fallon, MO Can Be Part of Your Beginner Running Program
Our O’Fallon, MO physical therapists can help with recovering from injuries and other musculoskeletal problems 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 O’Fallon, MO can help your beginner running program with:
- Treating any pre-existing injuries or conditions — A physical therapist in O’Fallon, MO can help determine what your current health level is, and develop a beginner running program based on that.
- Design a customized exercise program — We can help you come up with 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 progress to more strenuous running techniques such as inclines or fartlek training.
- Teaching proper running techniques — Proper technique is vital to avoiding injury and getting the most out of your running program. We’ll teach 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 being active, you don’t want to go back. We’ll help you get in the best shape possible through a customized program that improves strength, flexibility, endurance, and form while running or performing other exercises.
- Addressing injuries as 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 experiencing significant soreness, a physical therapist can reduce inflammation and pain in your legs, buttocks, and back.
Whether you’re looking to get healthier, or get back to the top of your game after an injury or surgery, the O’Fallon, 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 O’Fallon, 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 O’Fallon, MO
Starting a beginner running program in O’Fallon, MO does wonders for both your body and mind. However, many people aren’t sure how to start, or are nervous about if their body can hold up to it. Professional physical therapists like those at Axes can help by developing a comprehensive exercise program that will ensure you can get the benefits of running safely. If you’re thinking about starting a beginner running program in O’Fallon, MO, schedule an appointment through our website, or call the Axes location closest to you.