Running to Lose Weight to Meet Your Goal in this New Year

With every New Year come floods of people who make the resolution to lose excess weight. After the food coma of the holidays and all the consumed beverages wear off, these people actively pursue this goal with a gung-ho attitude. While each person has a different plan of action, running is a commonly chosen approach to Weight Loss. Running is an excellent way to not only shed pounds, but also to prevent the loss of muscle and bone, to fight disease and just in general improve your overall well being and confidence in oneself. That being said, if somebody new to running takes on too many miles each week at too high of speeds, there are many injuries they are placing themselves at risk for. It is much smarter to find a novice running plan to adhere to until endurance and strength are improved. These programs typically involve different increments of running and walking and build up to the ultimate goal of running for 30 minutes with no stopping.

There are many injuries that new runners commonly suffer from. These include shin splints and runner’s knee. The first, shin splints, is a sharp ache felt in the front of the lower portion of the leg. This ache may only be felt while working out, or it could be a constant, ongoing ache. Shin splints occur when a runner has overused muscles that are swollen and irritated, if a stress fracture is present or due to over pronation. These ailments occur due to overtraining or because of the running surface. To treat shin splints, ice and anti-inflammatories are the best option. Once a runner overcomes this injury, there are exercises that can be done to strengthen the muscle tissue in the front portion of the lower leg. Also, having your running form evaluated by a specialist who can advise proper, supportive shoes can help. For example, there is an excellent shoe store in Kalamazoo, Mich. that evaluates form and can determine if custom arch support inserts or just a better running shoe will help overcome shin splints.

The other typical injury runners experience is runner’s knee. This is discomfort experienced around the kneecap. A runner probably has runner’s knee if discomfort is experienced behind the kneecap, when the knee is bent or when walking downstairs. Swelling is one more symptom as is experiencing popping in the knee. This condition occurs due to overtraining, weak thigh muscles, or misalignment of bones. To get over this injury, it is best to rest, ice the knee and take anti-inflammatories. As soon as the discomfort has lessened, strengthening and stretching can help prevent runner’s knee from coming back.

While running is excellent exercise, doing too much too quickly is common with novices. If you are one of many who made the resolution to lose weight by running, be sure to start off slow, perhaps with a beginner-level running plan. Then, you can work up to longer distance runs at greater speeds. This will help you stick to your goal without any setbacks.

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