Jogging’s great. Fewer things are better than going for a jog on a nice, crisp summer morning, enjoying the sights and the quiet as your feet pound the pavement beneath you.
Unfortunately, your body doesn’t always agree with you, and many of us have discovered that sometimes our bodies rebel against the enjoyment of a nice morning jog, afflicting us with cramps, aches, and sore feet whenever we go. Don’t let that stop you from enjoying your jog- here are some jogging tips to help prevent these aches and pains and get you back into the groove of things!
1) Eat bananas before your run to avoid cramps
Cramps suck, and some of us are plagued by them more than others. Fortunately, there’s an easy way to help reduce them- eat a banana a half hour before your jog to raise the potassium in your system and help yourself avoid a cramp.
Don’t want to eat a banana because it’s too heavy? That’s fine- try a banana smoothie. If you just don’t like bananas, take a multivitamin that has magnesium and potassium, two supplements known to help reduce the incidences of muscle cramps!
2) Relieve sore feet with a frozen bottle
If your feet are always barking after a jog, try leaving a water bottle in the freezer overnight. When you get back, take off your shoes and roll the frozen bottle under your feet. The ridges of the bottle will provide a small massage to your aching feet while the cold of the frozen water inside will offer some soothing relief, getting you back on your feet without making you wince every time you take a step.
3) Make sure to warm up and cool down
This one seems like a no-brainer, but many people don’t do it or don’t do it enough of it. It’s crucial to warm up and cool down every time you go for a jog. It’s one of the best things you can do to alleviate cramps or strain during and after your jog! Give yourself 10 minutes of warm-up and 10 minutes of cool down every time and you’ll see that you’ll feel demonstrably better after!
4) Don’t obsess about your pace
Your pace doesn’t matter that much- seriously! (Unless you’re a professional runner, in which case you probably already know all these jogging tips). It’s not a marathon- don’t obsess over whether your pace increased at 2.4%, whether or not you were able to jog a mile faster than you were last week, or whether your pace has slowed slightly. Jog at a comfortable pace that doesn’t leave you strained or feeling extremely winded afterward!
You might think that you don’t need to hydrate during your jog, but chances are you should! Dehydration is one of the biggest contributors to cramps and muscle strain, and you should make sure that your muscles are getting the water they deserve. Make sure to drink at the very least 12 ounces of water before your jog, and make sure to drink a glass of water within an hour of your jog. That might seem like a lot of water, but trust us- your body will thank you!
6) Run with a friend
It’s been long noted that doing anything with someone else makes you more likely to do it because of a positive reinforcement trend. You’d cheat on your jogging days to stay inside when it’s cold, sure… but not when your friend shows up at your doorstep, counting on you to make up the second part of their jogging team.
So get a friend and run with them- you’ll find that not only will you enjoy your runs more, but you’ll be more motivated and probably higher-performing as well!