Monday, January 22, 2018
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Running to Improve Heart Health

Cardiovascular exercise is one of the greatest things an individual can do to maintain a good heart. Positive Health Wellness Running is excellent for the physical conditioning of the heart and will also provide numerous other benefits. It is also an effective exercise to get the blood and oxygen circulation flowing efficiently throughout the body. Running is a great way to tone the muscles and slim down while decreasing the risk of heart related diseases.

Running has also been shown to help eliminate stress and relieve mild forms of depression. Stress, depression, and other emotional conditions can have a harmful impact on the heart. Running is an effective way to release endorphins which help to alleviate pain and relieve stress.

Many people may begin running as a weight loss remedy. Obesity, high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, and physical inactivity are major risk factors for heart disease. Incorporating running in an exercise routine can lower the chances of heart disease. Running can help lower cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and help build muscle mass while burning an abundant amount of calories to aid with the goal of weight loss.

It is important to maintain proper running form to reduce the risk of injury and increasing the efficiency of the workout. The upper body should be slightly leaning forward with the hands at waist level, and arms should be relaxed as they swing gently at the sides. Running should be in short strides and landing should be made on the ball of the foot, not on the toes or heels. Excessive landing on the heels can cause stress on the muscles and may lead to injury in the legs and feet.

Sustaining injuries from running is fairly common and every preventable measure should be taken to avoid the risk. Common injuries include but are not limited to:

• Plantar Fasciitis – Pain in the heel as a result of inflammation and tears along the connective tissue along the plantar fascia.
• Achilles tendinitis – Inflammation of the Achilles tendon caused by straining and overstretching of the muscles in the tendon and calf muscles.
• Pulled muscles – Small muscle tears resulting from overexertion of a particular muscle.
• Stress fractures – Small cracks in the bones resulting from repetitive use of a certain part of the body.
• Ankle Sprains – Injuries to the ligaments of the ankle joint usually resulting from the ankle being forced into an abnormal position.
• Shin splints – Pain in the large bone in the front of the lower leg as a result of excessive force placed on the shinbone and connective tissues.
• Patellofemoral pain syndrome (runner’s knee) – Aching pain under or around the front of the kneecap as a result of excessive stress on the knee.
• Blisters – Small bubbles of skin filled with fluid on the feet that are caused by friction and/or pressure

Runners are particularly susceptible to these and other injuries because of the physical pressure they place upon their bodies. Enduring any type of injury can immobilize a runner, making their cardiovascular workout physically impossible. However, taking the necessary precautions such as wearing the proper shoes or being careful in their running style can increase the chances to experience a safe and healthy workout every time.

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