Running is a simple and great form of exercise for people of all ages. While some fear that running long distances may not be healthy for children, so far there is no scientific evidence that supports or refutes the safety of children who run marathons. Here are some tips to help limit the risk of injury to runners of all ages.
- Ideally, plan your run in shady areas rather than direct sun. Always wear sunscreen.
- If possible, run during the portions of the day when the weather is best.
- In winter, plan your run so that you run with the wind on the return portion of your run.
- Check air pollution levels and consider running inside if they are high.
- Running in high altitudes is more demanding. When adapting to higher altitude, start slowly, and slowly increase your pace and distance.
- Use caution when running on uneven surfaces, as they are more likely to lead to injury.
- If running frequently on a banked track or path, change which foot is on the higher side from time to time,
- Use caution when running in limited light. Reflective clothing can help you to be visible to cars.
- Use caution with headphones—make sure you can still hear your surroundings and traffic noises.
- If possible, run with a buddy.
- If running alone, make sure that you have emergency info written on your shoes or clothes; some companies make tags for this.
- Carry a phone for emergencies.
- Dress appropriately for cold weather: this means layers. Overdressing can actually cause you to get too sweaty and then lose body heat. Ideally, wear an inner layer to pull sweat from your skin (wick), a warm middle layer for your upper body, and an outer layer that keeps out wind and moisture.
- If running in very cold weather, make sure all your skin is covered. Petroleum jelly can be used for your nose and cheeks.
- Use the best type of running shoes. Make sure to find one that fits and is comfortable.
- Replace worn-out shoes. Shoes should be changed about every 250 miles. Keeping two pairs of shoes to alternate may also help, especially if often running in the rain.
- Warm up gently and stretch before your run.
- Increase your mileage slowly—dramatic mileage increases can lead to injury.
- Stay hydrated. Consider drinking 10 to 15 ounces of fluid about 15 minutes prior to your run, and if running a long distance (>30 minutes) make sure to have water with you or accessible on your route.