Running is the go-to exercise for many Americans looking to lose weight or just stay healthy. This is not surprising because this exercise provides several benefits, such as improving your mood and strengthening your heart. However, some runners, especially beginners, are unable to workout regularly due to the various discomforts they feel after a long run. Nonetheless, you can certainly enjoy running without experiencing any pain or swelling, but first you need to know how to prevent these common issues.
1. SIDE STITCHES
Have you ever felt an intense piercing pain while running? For beginners, a side stitch is a common dilemma. According to experts, this uncomfortable sensation occurs when the diaphragm receives too much pressure. The diaphragm is a muscle that plays a role in your breathing. When you’re not used to running, you tend to breathe rapidly. This will eventually pinch the diaphragm, leading to muscle spasm and the dreadful side stitches.
Fortunately, your body will eventually get used to your workouts. With a regular running routine, your breathing will become less strenuous – preventing the occurrence of side stitches. Another effective solution is to start core training, which can strengthen your diaphragm muscle. Aside from that, your digestion process and the foods you eat can also cause a sharp and stabbing pain below your ribs. For this reason, you should avoid eating one or two hours before exercising. Lastly, don’t forget to warm-up and practice proper breathing.
2. BLISTERS AND CHAFING
Aside from side stitches, other usual complaints from runners are blisters and chafing. Basically, both types of skin irritation and discomforts occur due to too much heat, sweat, and friction. The difference is that blisters appear like bumps with blood or clear fluid inside.
The best way to avoid these two common running problems is to wear moisture-wicking workout clothes and well-fitted shoes. As much as possible, you should avoid running with your newly-bought sneakers. You can also apply an anti-chafing cream to reduce friction.
If you’re currently dealing with these types of skin problems, always wash the affected area with an antibacterial soap. For blisters, you have to drain the fluid inside the bump and apply an antibiotic cream or ointment to prevent an infection.
3. BLACK TOENAILS
A black toenail is another common complaint by a lot of runners. Most of the time, this problem is minor and painless. However, a discolored nail is a bit unsightly. Your toenail becomes black because of broken capillaries caused by wearing small or tight shoes.
Once you have a black toenail, the only way to remove it is to wait until it grows and fall off. But, you can prevent this common dilemma by choosing a pair of sneakers that provide enough room for your toes.
4. LEG PAIN AND MUSCLE SORENESS
A usual fitness discomfort in this list of common running problems is leg pain. Most runners experience muscle soreness due to overexertion. But, the ache and swelling will typically subside within 24 to 48 hours. You can also apply a cold compress to ease your discomforts. Lastly, don’t forget to rest. Your body will repair and fortify itself when you’re resting. Eventually, your body will adapt to your training program, resulting in less pain and soreness. However, if the pain lasts for more than two days, you have to consult your doctor to rule out injuries.
Although not as common as the other problems, some people may feel dizzy while running. This sensation may occur due to various reasons. A primary cause is exercising on an empty stomach, leading to low blood sugar levels. If this is the case, you have to eat the right kind of foods before and after your workout. In addition, you should always drink fluids before, during, and after running as dehydration is another probable cause of feeling lightheaded.
If you feel dizzy while running, it is best to stop and sit down. You can also sip some water or sports drink. Always seek medical help if your condition doesn’t improve after a couple of minutes.
Overall, if you can prevent these common running problems, you’ll be able to run long distances, workout regularly, and enjoy building a strong physique.
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