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Tips to Prevent Running Injuries continued...

Warm-up and stretch: Many injuries occur as a result of inadequate stretching. Before and after you run, stretch your muscles thoroughly -- especially your calf, hamstrings, groin, and quadriceps.

Also, warm up for five minutes -- by walking, for example -- before you start stretching. Stretching cold muscles may cause injuries.

Strength train: Add weight training and ab exercises to your routine. This strengthens muscles and develops core strength.

Cross train: Mix up your fitness routine. Don't only run. Try swimming, biking, tennis, or some other activity. This helps prevent overuse injuries that more commonly occur when you do the same type of exercise over and over again.

Dress appropriately: Wear lightweight, breathable clothing that wicks moisture away from your skin. Dress in layers. Also wear a hat to protect against the sun and cold.

Be shoe smart: Wear proper-fitting socks and shoes with good support. If the soles of your running shoes have worn thin or are angled, it's time to get a new pair. If you have foot problems, such as flat feet or high arches, consider using orthotic shoe inserts.

Run wisely: Run on a flat, smooth surface and avoid steep hills until your body gets used to the activity.

Be safe: Run during the day, in well-lit areas, or use a light so that you can be seen. Keep a cell phone and identification on you. If running with headphones, set the volume low enough so that you can hear cars and other noises. Run with a partner when you can.

Weather matters: Monitor the weather conditions before you go for a run. Don't run outside if it is over 90 degrees Fahrenheit, below freezing, or the humidity is high.

Stay hydrated: Make sure you drink an extra 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 cups of water on the days you run. If you are running for more than an hour, drink a sports drink to replenish electrolytes lost in sweat.

Treatment of Common Running Injuries

Most running injuries can be relieved by following these treatment strategies. If pain and discomfort continues, see your health care provider. You may need more advanced treatment to resolve your running injury.

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Ensure you're exercising hard enough to get a good workout, but not strain your heart.

While you are exercising, you should count between...

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Beats
PER
Seconds