How To Fix Your Bad Running Habits
Running is one of the most popular ways to keep your body and mind healthy and toned. Thus, maintaining good running habits has numerous benefits both for your physical and mental health.
In this article, you will find out about common bad running habits and ways to break them.
How Do Bad Running Habits Affect Your Health?
In general, bad running habits have a destructive effect on the body. You should break your running habits to fix the problems they cause, namely:
Unnecessary movements during the run make your body work harder and use more energy;
Bad habits cut off oxygen during the run;
They tighten your muscles and prevent recovery of muscle tissue;
They cause dehydration and fatigue;
They trigger injuries because have a significant impact on joints and tendons. Besides, they promote poor neuromuscular coordination;
They make you run slower and for a shorter period of time;
Promote poor resilience.
What Are the Running Mistakes? How to Fix Them?
These mistakes make you run less effectively and prevent the development of a good running form. In order to eliminate them, adhere to these tips.
Mistake 1: Looking back while running
Looking back while running is one of the serious mistakes because it deteriorates your form, distracts you, causes pace changes, demoralizes you, makes you feel less confident, shows that you are tired.
How to fix:
Always stay focused, don’t get distracted, think about your ultimate goal, and keep running no matter what!
Mistake 2: Bouncing leg habit
This habit leads to the waste of energy because your body is moving up and down constantly. Besides, it negatively affects your leg and foot muscles, especially on the quadriceps.
How to fix:
In order to get rid of this bad habit, keep your feet low to the ground, run lightly, land softly, and take short strides. On top of that, don’t run on your toes.
Mistake 3: Running with your arms behind you
This running technique is also known as the Naruto run, and it is believed that it is easier to run using this technique. Many runners wonder: “Does running with your arms behind you make you faster?” and the answer is clear: “No, it doesn’t.”
How to fix:
Don’t forget that running is a full body activity, so make sure your posture is good and the body is in align.
Mistake 4: Hands crossed in front of body
When your hands are crossed in front of the body, they start to move up toward the shoulders, this results in hunching over. Hunching causes breathing problems and reduces running time. Besides, crossing your hands in front of the body makes your upper body work harder, and you just waste energy.
How to fix:
Your arms should be at your sides, parallel to each other. Keep your elbows bent at a 90-degree angle. Besides, relax your arms and swing your arms from the shoulders.
Mistake 5: Looking down
When you are looking down while running, you cut off a certain amount of oxygen because the entire spine is biased into flexion. Besides, it can affect your concentration.
How to fix:
Keep your chin up, focus on the horizon, look 30-40 m ahead.
Mistake 6: Overstriding
Overstriding results in chronic soreness, injuries of the knees, ankles, and feet. Besides, it reduces run efficiency and makes it harder to pick up speed.
How to fix:
Gradually increase the number of steps you take per minute (cadence), take light, fast strides.
Tips You Should Follow to Fix Your Bad Running Habits
The independent reports that two million people in the UK and 10 million in the US have actively taken up running and that it is fast becoming the most popular form of exercise worldwide.
So, if you want to try this rewarding sport, then these general tips will help improve your performance and enhance your athletic shape.
Choose comfortable shoes
Investing in a pair of comfortable and lightweight shoes is always a good idea because they prevent you from injuries, absorb shock efficiently, alleviate pain, create a comfy environment, absorb moisture, odor, and don’t cause blisters.
Eat and hydrate well
This is a good running habit that will help you enjoy your run and avoid injuries and discomfort. Make sure your meals are high in nutrients, and they should incorporate 60 percent of fiber and 40 percent of lean protein. Eat before and after your run.
Besides, include sports drinks into your running routine. The carbohydrates and electrolytes in the sports drink also help you absorb the fluids faster.
Take a rest
It is great if you are well-motivated, but you should think soberly. Don’t push your body to its limits if you don’t want to end up with health problems. During the run, take a rest each time you feel tired. Besides, don’t forget that your muscles need time to recover.
A lack of sleep can reduce alertness, bring you down, mess with hormone balances, and extend the recovery period. During sleep, powerful restorative and rejuvenating processes take place in the body.
Don’t make unnecessary movements while running
During your run, you should stay focused and think about your final goal. Don’t swing your hands across the body because it makes your upper body work harder. Besides, swinging your hands across the body makes the legs cross over each other, which can result in a fall.
Do hip-strengthening exercises
Hip muscles are stabilizing muscles that affect your performance and endurance. If they are weak, they can cause inflammation and injury. To avoid this, do some hip-strengthening exercises.
Run on different surfaces
Variability is a key to strong muscles. Run on different surfaces (treadmill, pavement, track) so that each time, different groups of muscles are active.
Warm-up and cool-down are a must
Warm up before every run because it improves the blood circulation.
Definitely, running is one of the most beneficial activities for the body and mind. In order to be a successful runner without injuries, stick to a healthy eating and hydration plan, follow a healthy recovery system, do hip-strengthening exercises, adhere to a standard running technique, and don’t forget about comfortable running shoes!
Guest post by Helen Rogers. Helen Rogers is an editor of TheCrossfitShoes. She motivates people to get stronger and shares running and sports questions as well as beauty tips. All her stories are result-oriented and inspire her readers to become healthier, wealthier and wiser!