Protect Your Body From Injury
Before running, or doing any exercise, take some time to stretch. By stretching before exercising, you allow your body to prepare for the workout, warm up the muscles, increase blood flow to the muscles, and avoiding injuries. In addition, stretching can help improve your flexibility, posture, and coordination.
Another habit to get into is to take a few moments, about every 10-15 minutes, to do an inventory of your body. Ask yourself, what is hurting right now? Is it because I’m running incorrectly? Do I need to take a break? Taking some time to notice what is hurting, you can adjust the situation to ensure you’re not causing any further damage to your body. The more you know your body the better you can understand and read the signs it is giving you.
Replenish Your Electrolytes and Stay Hydrated
We all need electrolytes to help keep our bodies healthy and working at their maximum capacity. Electrolytes are made up of electrically charged minerals, the 4 major ones being, sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium, and are necessary to keep the digestive, muscular, cardiovascular, and nervous systems working.
Many athletes, especially those who are starting out, may ignore the importance of replenishing electrolytes. If you’re not getting enough electrolytes (or are sweating too many electrolytes out) your muscles will cramp, perspiration will no longer cool you down, and you’ll feel dizzy and weak. If you ignore these symptoms and don’t do anything to replenish electrolytes, it may lead to heat exhaustion and heat stroke (which may be fatal).
While working out, pay attention to your body and how much you are drinking. You don’t want to get to the point where you’ve pushed your body too far, where it’s dehydrated and not performing at its best.
There are various ways to get electrolytes in your body, beside just drinking powerade or gatorade. Certain foods—nuts, beans, seeds, fruits and vegetables—also contain electrolytes to help ensure you’re getting the necessary nutrients throughout your body.
Give Your Body Sometime To Cool Down
After your workout, take some time to stretch and give your body time to cool down. This is also a good time to drink and replenish the electrolytes in your body. During the cool down, your goal is to gradually bring your heart rate back down to its normal, resting rate. Also, by taking some time to cool down and do some post-workout stretches, you’ll improve your flexibility over time and reduce your risk of injury.