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What are the Best Running Tips?

As with most exercises, several running tips are essential to consult before beginning a running routine. Proper shoes must be purchased, and proper methods must be practiced in order to avoid strain, pain, or injury. Runners are recommended to listen to his or her own body, and provide it with healthy nutrients and proper hydration in order to support the exercise. Stretching, running posture, and cross training are also considered essential parts of a running program.

Initially, proper running shoes should be purchased. Shoes should be comfortable and not too loose or tight. Over pronation, or foot imbalance, may cause wear around the heals which could increase the risk of injury. Such wear should be addressed if noticed, either by purchasing new shoes or consulting a podiatrist for advice. New running shoes should be purchased every 350 miles (563 kilometres) or so.

One of the most important running tips is to develop a gradual running program. A slow pace, such as brisk walking, is recommended for beginner running as it will increase the body's ability to become faster in time. Starting too fast may result in injury.

Before a run, a warm up routine may reduce the chances of injury or discomfort. This is one of the often overlooked running tips. Begin walking briskly, then perform leg and back stretches. After a run, a cooling down routine should be performed, in which the runner stretches first, then briskly walks for a few more minutes.

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A runner should maintain proper posture while running. Rather than looking down, he or she should keep eyes on the horizon. This keeps the weight of the head from causing neck strain. Shoulders should be relaxed and arms should stay at the side. Swinging of arms is considered fine, though they should not cross over the torso.

If discomfort is experienced, runners are advised to either walk or rest until rejuvenated. Over exertion may cause chest pain, dizziness, sore legs, or a sore back. Listening to the body is among the most important running tips for avoiding injury.

As different muscles are used in running than are used in other leg activity or cardiovascular workouts, cross training is recommended for runners. Running muscles should be given a break from time to time, in order for the exerciser to work on other muscles. Swimming, biking, pilates, and the use of elliptical machines may allow a runner to keep fit on non-running days.

Runners may find it helpful to track his or her progress. Keeping record of distance, time, and exertion will allow a runner to see his or her progress and encourage motivation for improvement. Additionally, tracking day to day heart rate may be advantageous. An increase of five or more beats per minute from one day to another may be a sign of over exertion.

Maintaining a proper diet is also chief among the essential running tips. Healthful foods are considered important for consumption by anyone, particularly those who perform a high-energy physical activity such as running. Eating a meal rich in carbohydrates prior to a run can help increase energy, and a high-protein meal after running will encourage muscle building. Hydration should not be overlooked, as running encourages fairly profuse perspiration. Runners are recommended to drink a gallon of water per day or more.

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