Bring On The Sunshine! Hello Georgetown! What a crazy couple of weeks it's been! I hope you and your family is recovering from the recent winter weather that hit Georgetown and all of Texas. Be … Read More...
By Charlotte Kovalchuk, Hello Georgetown Contributor
Embarking on a fitness journey might be a recurring New Year’s resolution, but this year you may also be searching for ways to exercise safely. Dr. Al Bartschmid, an orthopedic surgeon at St. David’s Georgetown Hospital, said he’s seen more people taking to their neighborhood streets and trails to go running instead of heading to the gym.
He’s also seen people come in with injuries related to running and shared tips on how to start your running regimen while avoiding common injuries.
Starting Out: Whether you’re a first-time runner or you haven’t exercised in a long time, Dr. Bartschmid recommends getting a check-up if you’re 40 years or older to rule out any blood pressure or heart problems. From there, he advises starting off by walking or jogging.
“You get all the benefits of running with walking. It’s just as healthy to walk,” he said. But if your goal is to run, he suggests building up to it by alternating every few minutes between walking and jogging and later doing a walk/run the same way. As for distance, he said 10 miles a week is a good goal for average runners.
Adding Distance: For runners who want to up their distance, Dr. Bartschmid advises doing it gradually and increasing their mile number by 10 percent each week.
“The problem with people I see, they get to 10 miles and they’re young and it doesn’t seem like it’s very hard for them, so they decided to up it to 20 miles a week, and then they come in with something hurting,” he said, adding that people should listen to their bodies. “If you start to feel some pain, that’s your body telling you you need to back off a little bit. You want to listen to that and not try to run through pain.”
Common Injuries: Dr. Bartschmid has seen different types of running injuries such as muscle strains and runner’s knee, a common overuse injury that causes pain at the front of the knee, as well as Iliotibial Band Syndrome, which causes pain on the side of the knee. Plantar fasciitis is another common running injury that happens when the tissue that supports the arch of your foot becomes inflamed.
The most serious injury Dr. Bartschmid has seen are stress fractures that cause pain in the hip and shin. These running injuries can be aggravated by worn-out shoes and lack of stretching before running. If it feels like you’re running on concrete, it’s time for a new pair of shoes, Dr. Bartschmid said, adding that most people need a new pair with arch support every nine months to a year. It can also be helpful to slow down while running, and to run on flat surfaces.