', 'auto'); ga('send', 'pageview'); ga('create', 'UA-42651322-3', 'auto', 'brandTracker'); ga('brandTracker.send', 'pageview');
Accessibility View Close toolbar

Running and Running Injuries

Everyone knows that exercise is good for you.1,2 Many people who haven’t exercised in a while (possibly not in many years) want to know whether running will help them get fit. A follow-up question for those willing to take action in the important area of exercise is how to avoid running injuries. The answers to these questions can have a long-term impact on a person’s health and well-being.3

First, running is not for everyone. Also, running is not a better form of exercise than other aerobic activities such as walking, swimming, or biking. For example, older adults who haven’t exercised in 20 years would probably derive more benefit from walking than from running. For such a person, attempting to run regularly might actually cause real problems such as a stress fracture in the lower leg. It’s not that older persons shouldn’t run, but rather older adults who are out-of-shape should use caution if they are choosing to begin running for exercise. Lastly, although runners often believe that what they’re doing is the “best” form of exercise, such an opinion is not factual. The best form of exercise is what works for you. This means doing regular, consistent, vigorous exercise that makes you feel good, empowered, and more alive. This is contrasted with exercise you think you “should” be doing that actually makes you feel tired and lethargic and may, in fact, be injurious.

If you do choose to begin running, the most important recommendation is to start slowly. The key variables are distance and pace, so a beginner should start by lightly jogging at a slow pace for about 10 minutes. If you haven’t done aerobics in a while, 10 minutes will feel like plenty. Even if you’re not out-of-breath, don’t do more. Part of an effective running routine is discipline. Most running injuries result from doing too much. Do enough and no more.

The benefits of running are long-term, so build up your distance and pace carefully, over weeks and months. For example, if you’re running 2 miles a day and feel good, going on a 5-mile run with a friend will probably not have the outcome you’re looking for. Stress fractures, shin splints, and muscle strains are just waiting to happen. The way to prevent running injuries is to be consistent and never do too much. Of course, stuff happens, but you want to cut down the odds of something happening to you. You do that by following your well-designed running plan.

How much exercise is best? For most of us, 30 minutes per day of vigorous exercise, 5 times per week, is sufficient for general health and well-being. Competitive athletes have more complex training schedules, but for everyone else the 30x5 rule works. Your workouts can be longer than 30 minutes, of course, but 30 minutes a day is all we really need. In terms of running, that translates into about 2.5 miles at a nice 12-minute pace. Remember, if you’re just starting out, you need to build up to this level slowly and gradually. Also, running should be done on alternate days. At most, you’ll be running three times per week. Some weeks you’ll only run twice.

The key thing to remember is to have fun. Be consistent, pay attention to what you’re doing, and enjoy the benefits of enhanced health and well-being.

1Chomistek AK, et al: Vigorous-intensity leisure-time physical activity and risk of major chronic disease in men. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2012 Apr 24 [Epub ahead of print]
2Sieverdes JC, et al: Associations between Physical Activity and Submaximal Cardiorespiratory and Pulmonary Responses in Men. J Sports Med Doping Stud 1(1):112, 2011
3Melzer K, et al: Physical activity and pregnancy: cardiovascular adaptations, recommendations and pregnancy outcomes. Sports Med 40(6):493-507, 2010

New patients receive a free consultation!

One of our primary goals is to educate our community about the benefits of chiropractic.

Office Hours

Monday:

8:00 am-12:00 pm

3:00 pm-6:00 pm

Tuesday:

12:00 pm-3:00 pm

Wednesday:

8:00 am-12:00 pm

3:00 pm-6:00 pm

Thursday:

8:00 am-12:00 pm

3:00 pm-6:00 pm

Friday:

7:00 am-10:00 am

Saturday:

Closed

Sunday:

Closed

Location

Find us on the map

Testimonials

Reviews From Our Satisfied Patients

  • "We saw Dr Tim and I highly recommend him to any family!! He's awesome with kiddos!! He treated our 3 month old son. The entire staff is above and beyond!!!"
    Lindsay Tebout
  • "I've been going now since 2014 staff is great both doctors are great and my overall health is so much better not living in pain anymore I would highly recommend."
    Laurie PoelstraVoogd
  • "They were able to help after a car accident when medical doctors could do nothing. So happy that I came here!! Office staff is the best. Always smiling and friendly and the doctors are amazing! Great folks to work with"
    Robyn Nesbitt Franz
  • "The best chiropractor! Well worth the hour drive!"
    Mary Whitelock
  • "I have been a patient for almost 2 years now and feel amazing. I originally went in for pain relief like most patients, and got exactly what I needed. Great environment, friendly staff and good prices with flexible hours. It was an easy decision after I was relieved of my back pain to keep going to Dr. Gillis to maintain my health and to live a healthier lifestyle with chiropractic care."
    Sara Harder

Featured Articles

Read about helpful topics

  • A Book and Its Cover

    A book cover may not necessarily tell the whole story and may not accurately portray the nature of the contents within. Publishing companies pay high salaries to their marketing staff to create cover copy that will entice prospective buyers to make a purchase. But many times the book itself does not ...

    Read More
  • When Your Spine Is In Line

    Good spinal alignment means good biomechanical health. Essentially, your spine is the biomechanical center of your body. Your legs are connected to your spine via two large and strong pelvic bones. Your arms are connected to your spine via your shoulder blades, ribs, and numerous strong muscles and ligaments. ...

    Read More
  • An Apple a Day . . .

    What is so good about an apple? Is it the color, ranging from ruby red to pale pink? Is it the crunch? The sweetness? Or is it, instead, a combination of all of these qualities, plus the natural goodness derived from the apple's secret ingredients — phytonutrients? If this were a multiple choice quiz, the answer would be "all of the above". Importantly, in addition to possessing numerous appealing physical qualities, apples contain an abundance of health-promoting biochemicals known as phytonutrients.1,2 These specific organic molecules are derived not only from apples but many other fresh fruits and vegetables, and help power the immune system, protect against cancer, maintain healthy eyes, and assist cells in clearing out metabolic waste products such as free radicals. ...

    Read More
  • Standing Tall

    Young peoples' bones stop growing by approximately age 20, somewhat earlier in women and somewhat later in men. Long bone growth, that is, in the arm, forearm, thigh, and leg, ceases later and smaller bone growth, that is, in the hands, feet, and spine, ceases earlier. In essence, you're as tall as you're ...

    Read More
  • Spring Forth!

    Spring is arriving. The days are getting longer, the air is fresher, and the sunlight is brighter. Flowers and bushes are beginning to bloom. Tree sap is running and there are new baby animals in the world. In short, the world is being renewed and, if we choose to, we too can actively participate in ...

    Read More
  • Chiropractic Care for the Young and the Young at Heart

    Children and adults are the same but different. Most kids want to play all the time, but they also are required to go to school. Most adults would prefer to play all the time – relax, go to the gym, read a book, watch TV, or get together with friends – but most adults need to go to work at least ...

    Read More
  • Care of Concussions

    Concussions are becoming increasingly common, especially among school-age athletes. It has been estimated that there are up to 3.8 million sports-related concussions in the United States each year. Concussions are problematic as, by definition, a concussive injury involves some degree of trauma to the ...

    Read More
  • Ice Capades

    In the depths of winter, adults, as well as children, exert themselves to engage in enjoyable outdoor activities that will keep them warm and provide both excitement and entertainment. Cross-country skiing, downhill skiing, sledding, ice hockey, figure skating, and speed skating all have their enthusiasts. Many ...

    Read More
  • Being a Change Agent

    Being a Change Agent For most of us, change happens slowly, if at all. But as the recent holiday season fades into the distance, many of us wish to be increasingly proactive this year and take real action on the numerous New Year's resolutions that we made in regard to our health and well-being. Back ...

    Read More
  • Holiday Cheer

    In early winter, whether we're celebrating Hanukkah or Christmas, both or nothing at all, families and friends gather to share food and drink and give thanks for a year successfully completed. We send up a rousing holiday cheer and share delicious holiday cheer in celebration of our accomplishments and ...

    Read More

Newsletter Signup

Sign Up to Receive More Articles