While other parts of the country a buried under inches or feet of snow or dealing with sub zero temperatures this time of year, we Austinites can enjoy being outside year round. Yes, the temperatures can dip into the teens on that rare occasion, but running outside is almost always an option. If improving your health is part of your resolutions for this year, running is one of the simplest ways to do it.
In addition to shedding fat, adding muscle, and improving cardiovascular health, this activity will help increase the strength and density of your bones. Many people, especially women, will lose bone density with age. Running is a great way to build that density up and keep your bones strong which will make them more resistant to breaks. There are many activities that one can do to stay healthy, but, as we pointed in this month’s newsletter, few others require less equipment. Strap a good pair of running shoes on your feet and you have a wealth of many different trails and paths to run on in the area. No gym membership required! Do pay attention to the type of surface you are running on. While it may be easiest to run on the sidewalks in your neighborhood, concrete can be very demanding on the joints of your legs and feet. Instead, consider a dirt trail or designate running track as a new runner. Running on a softer surface will give your body opportunity to adjust to the new demands placed on it.
Before you join the large community of Austin runners, make a visit to your family physician. A regular check up is a good way to catch any possible problems before the increased demands can cause damage. Likewise, make an appointment with your Austin podiatrist to investigate any minor aches or pains. That mild ache in your heel or nagging stiffness in your toe can become very painful, very quickly if not cared for before you begin running. Too often foot pain and limit or prevent you from participating in various activities. Unfortunately, many of these pains can be eliminated with proper treatment by a podiatrist. A proper evaluation of your feet can also help you to select the proper running shoes for your foot type. Take the time to properly prepare yourself now and you can enjoy your runs for years to come!