How to Protect Your Knee while Running on Pavement
Jogging is a well known activity that can have hazardous effects on the knee while running on pavement. A tremendous amount of strain is placed on the knee when running on a hard surface, like asphalt or pavement. While city living limits the choices of where to walk or jog, there are various ways to help keep the knees protected while running on pavement.
Stretching before starting any type of exercise is always recommended to prevent muscle pain. When you do stretches in a warm environment you are working on building and strengthening muscles. This helps to prevent pain in the knee when running on a hard surface. There are many tips that you should keep in mind while warming up:
- Always start out slowly after warming up.
- Wear clothing that will allow the skin to breathe, so you don’t become overheated.
- A hat helps to hold the heat in during winter and protects the eyes in the summer.
The way you hold the body while running is a major factor in preventing knee pain during this time. It is important to stand tall and lean slightly forward landing on the heel. If you experience pain in your knee, be sure to see a physician.
Shoes are a very important part of protecting the knees while jogging. A shoe that does not fit well could cause you to stumble or cause blisters. It is a good idea to have the foot sized for a running shoe to get the best fit. Shoes need to be able to absorb the impact when landing on pavement. Body weight hits the pavement three times as heavy as what you weigh. Remember, shoes wear out with repeated use. For the best protection it is recommended to replace shoes about every six months.
After warming up your muscles you are ready to start running. It is important to start at a pace that feels comfortable to you. You will increase your speed slightly and slow down again several times within the first fifteen minutes of running. As the muscles begin to feel stronger you will increase the speed for several minutes, and then slow down to a comfortable pace. Increase speed only when you feel ready, as this can cause muscles to cramp and knees to hurt. The distance you run can slowly be increased every two weeks.
During running you should be inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth. If breathing is not done correctly then the muscles will not receive the oxygen they need. This can cause cramping and knee pain. Pace yourself to prevent inappropriate methods of jogging that could make you ill during the run.
Don’t forget the importance of the last few minutes of running. Slow to a comfortable pace for a few minutes after jogging. This allows the muscles to cool and helps to prevent cramping and knee pain.
The knee is a complex joint that bends, straightens and rotates as it moves. To keep knees healthy, protect them with the methods mentioned here and prevent pain from keeping you from running.
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