Running is an activity that millions of people participate in as a way to get in shape or stay in shape. Some people run competitively or solely for the “runner’s high.” Before I start talking about running though, I would like to address many of the issues with it so that you can take precautions before you injure yourself. Dr. Weil says, “Running traumatizes the body, especially joints in the legs, knees, and back, as well as the kidneys.” (Dr. Weil’s article on running.) Running is something that can lead to osteoarthritis, or joint damage in other words, as it is a high impact form of cardio. Running can also lead to breast sag, which is caused by the bouncing of breasts as women run. Lastly, runners are much more likely to get skin cancer, as runners often sweat off their sunscreen and because high-intensity training can weaken your immune system. As a precaution to osteoarthritis, it is advised that you never run on concrete. Optimally, you would want to run on either dirt paths or on cinder tracks. To minimize breast sag caused by running, sports bras are actually very effective as they reduce bouncing by 78%. (Osteoarthritis and Skin Sag Source.)


Now, enough with the scary stuff, let’s get on to talking about how to make running easier!

Take vitamins. I believe that this is the most important thing to improve how much you get out of a work out and how quickly and effectively you recover. The difference that vitamins make is definitely noticeable. If you want to run, first make sure that you’re also getting sleep. Sleep is essential to recovery, so don’t sacrifice sleep for running. Find a way to fit both into your routine while trying to sleep at least 8 hours a night. It is essential that you make sure to eat iron. Without sufficient iron in your diet, you will constantly feel tired and drained. Some good sources of iron are red meats, eggs, kidney beans, and fish.

It is important to be progressive in your running routine. If you try to push yourself too hard, it is likely that you will injure yourself, as your body is not yet used to training at that intensity. Also, try to breathe slowly when you run. Breathing hard is one of the biggest mistakes that people who are new to running make. Breathing quickly does not allow all of the CO2 to exit your lings. Stay hydrated. Speed up the second half of your run and try to beat the time from the first half of your run. Use this to motivate yourself. Push your chest forward when you run to avoid slouching shoulders.Repeat mantras to yourself to motivate yourself to keep going. Most importantly, run on your forefoot (the front ball of your foot below your toes) as this will reduce the impact on your joints.

Take a cold bath after you run. Even if you can only bare it for five minutes, you will feel more than rewarded. Whereas taking a hot bath after a workout can cause your muscle tears to bleed out, a cold bath flushes the lactic acid out of your muscle, effectively reducing soreness.

Well, that’s one way to take a cold bath.

Squatting is advisable for improving your running form and increasing the stability and mobility of your joints. Squatting will also give you more power in your legs which may allow you to run faster.


Set new goals. This will keep you from plateauing in your improvement. Change your routes. Some routes put more pressure on one leg than the other and cause disproportionate strength. Keep a record of your running. This way, you can see your progress and set new goals. Now get on your sneakers and go run!

3 thoughts on “Running

  1. Laura Marie Nejako

    As someone who comes from a family of marathon runners, I believe that you had a lot of recommendations for avoiding the running injuries you detailed earlier in your post. I have seen my fair share of these injuries and while what you mentioned (getting enough sleep, taking vitamins, staying hydrated, taking cold showers, etc.) certainly does help, many running related injuries are unavoidable. However, I do appreciate the set-up of this post in the way that you first addressed the problem and then provided ways to help combat it.

  2. Christina Marie Pici

    I really enjoy running simply for the “runners high” that you mentioned in the beginning of your article. However, many times when I run I believe I push myself past the point that I should have gone. There have been many times that as soon as I’m done running I can’t even press my foot down because my shins will be hurting so bad. I also like that you mentioned squatting as a way to stabilize yourself. I definitely feel that squatting improves balance and structure when working out.

  3. vag5076

    Even with taking vitamins, getting sleep, and staying hydrated, running can do more harm than good for people, especially older women who are already at risk for osteoporosis. I do believe cardio is an important part to a healthy life, because if your heart is in poor health, does it really matter that you can lift? However, there are easier (on the body) activities that people can do. Swimming being the most recommended one. You have resistance unlike running on a flat track, and just like in running you can find a peace while doing it. Swimming also forces you to breathe at a steady and regimented rate. For asthmatics, like myself, running can easily become hyperventilating. I appreciate your message of, “if you’re going to run, do this,” but I still believe the only days I run are the ones where I’m being chased.
    PS: one of your images is not working

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