Turkey Trotting? Prevent Injuries with These Simple Steps
For many Americans, Thanksgiving is associated with an array of activities: enjoying delicious food, family fun, and football to name a few. Another popular activity associated with Thanksgiving is a Turkey Trot, which is a fun run or walk that’s held on Thanksgiving Day. Before indulging in a delicious meal, many families across the country participate in local Turkey Trots to kick off the day’s festivities and work up an appetite. If you and your family are getting ready to participate in a Turkey Trot, check out these turkey trot safety tips to stay healthy and injury-free during this year’s walk, jog, or run.
Turkey Trot Safety Includes Having the Right Shoes
When walking or running, comfortable footwear is a must. Beyond just keeping you comfortable, wearing supportive shoes helps prevent running injuries. This is especially important for runners, as the repetitive impact of running can put a lot of strain on the body. Whether you’re running, jogging, or walking, it’s crucial to wear shoes that will support your feet and prevent ankle, and knee injuries, as well as less-severe problems like blisters from ill-fitting shoes that rub in the wrong places. Proper, well-fitted footwear provides stability to ensure you stay comfortable and safe through the finish line.
Warm Up & Stretch Beforehand
Taking the time to warm up may seem unnecessary for a short trot, but proper preparation can make a big difference in your workout and your physical health. Warming up helps to increase blood flow to your muscles and prepare them for activity. For example, a simple warm-up could involve walking, lunges, calf raises or jumping jacks for a few minutes or doing ankle circles, leg swings, and arm circles. Focus on warming-up your major muscle groups, such as your hamstrings, quadriceps, and calves. Not only will you be less likely to injure yourself, but you’ll also be able to exercise more safely and effectively, and enjoy a shorter recovery period.
Stay Hydrated Before, During, & After Your Trot
Most people know that it’s important to stay hydrated, especially when exercising. But did you know that being properly hydrated can actually help prevent injuries? When you walk or run, your body produces extra heat and sweat, which can lead to dehydration. Dehydration can cause muscles to cramp and makes it more difficult for the body to regulate temperature, increasing the risk of injuries. Dehydration can also lead to lightheadedness and dizziness, making it more difficult to maintain balance and increasing the risk of a fall. Water can regulate your body temperature, lubricate joints, and help transport nutrients to give you energy to sustain exercise. That’s why it’s important to drink plenty of fluids before, during, and after a walk or run. Staying hydrated will help your body function at its best and prevent running injuries.
Practice Good Form (whether running or walking)
Turkey trot safety includes practicing good form, which is important when walking or running for two main reasons: to prevent injuries and to improve your performance. When you practice good form, you use your muscles more efficiently, which means your body conserves energy so you can walk or run for longer periods of time without tiring. Good form also helps prevent injuries by ensuring that your body is properly aligned, minimizing stress on your joints, and keeping your muscles working together properly. For example, if you slouch when you walk, you put unnecessary strain on your neck, back, and shoulders. This can lead to shoulder pain and injuries over time. In contrast, practicing good form will help you stay safe and prevent running injuries. So when you are enjoying your Turkey Trot, focus on good form!
Cool Down & Stretch Afterwards
The importance of cooling down and stretching after a walk or run cannot be overstated. A cool-down helps your body transition from exercise to rest, allowing for the gradual recovery of pre-exercise heart rate and blood pressure. Stretching helps to reduce muscle and joint stiffness, so you can wake up the next morning pain-free and ready to take on the day. Be sure to take a few minutes to cool down and stretch after you trot this year, and anytime you go for a run or walk. Your body will thank you!
Practice Turkey Trot Safety to Enjoy an Injury-Free Thanksgiving
Take these tips with you as you head into this year’s Turkey Trot so you can stay healthy and injury-free this Thanksgiving. Should you experience any shoulder, elbow, knee or ankle pain or injury, our team at G2 Orthopedics and Sports Medicine is here to help you get back on your feet! Dr. Goradia will listen to you to understand your injury and lifestyle and develop a customized treatment plan best suited to your needs. Call (804) 678-9000 or complete the form today to request your appointment!