Is walking good for injured runners?

Is walking good for injured runners?

October 31, 2023

Is walking good for injured runners?

Back on Track Physical Therapy

Is Walking Good For Injured Runners?

When recovering from an injury, the last thing you want to do is overexert yourself. Instead, focus on making slow and steady progress towards your goal. Many runners struggle with this because they’re used to running as soon as they feel any discomfort, but it doesn’t have to be this way! Walking can be a great way to build endurance without risking overuse or injury.

It’s a great way to build up your endurance

If you have been injured while running, walking may be the perfect alternative for you. Not only does it get you outside and moving, but it also builds endurance in your body. Experts agree that walking is a low-impact exercise that provides your body with similar benefits to running without the high impact of running. Walking not only strengthens your quadriceps and hamstring muscles, but it’s also great for your joints as it protects knees and hips. Walking is an ideal exercise option for people of all fitness levels. To maximize the benefits of your walks, gradually increase your pace and distance each week. To boost your intensity and burn more calories, incorporate weights into your routine. Try using dumbbells, your dog who won’t leave the park until you carry him, or ankle-and-wrist weights to increase strength and raise your heart rate.

It’s a great way to give your joints a break

If you’re injured or having trouble building up endurance, walking can be a great way to take care of your joints and keep muscles strong, according to Reda Elmardi, R.D., C.S.C.S, registered dietician and founder of Gym Goat wellness site. Walking puts less strain on your legs, knees, hips and spine compared to running. Additionally, it increases blood flow to cartilage which lubricates joints and makes them more flexible and stronger, according to experts. Osteoarthritis, or wear and tear on joints, can reduce your risk significantly. It’s particularly crucial for people with knee osteoarthritis – which is a leading cause of disability and death in the United States – who experience this discomfort firsthand. Walking is a low-impact and safe form of exercise that you can do every day without feeling fatigued or overtrained. But be sure to set aside dedicated rest days for your body to recover afterward, according to Elmardi.

It’s a great way to get back into training after an injury

Running injuries are unfortunately common, but they don’t have to stop you from being active. The key is taking time off to rest and recover so you can safely resume your routine. Walking is an effective way to strengthen your muscles and joints. This form of gentle exercise can be done at any level of fitness, from beginners to ultra runners. Walking has many benefits for the body and mind alike! Walking can also be an excellent way to prevent future injuries. For instance, if you suffer from ankle or knee pain, walking may help relieve tension and lower the likelihood of an injury. If you are uncertain how to walk properly, ask your physiotherapist for tips and advice. They have the expertise on helping you return to running safely without risking re-injury.

It’s a great way to build up your strength

Walking is an excellent way to build strength and stay injury-free. Due to injury, runners who can no longer run can choose to walk instead of their usual run, which reduces the impact on their joints. It’s an effective cross training alternative suitable for all levels of runners from beginners to elites. When starting out with walking workouts, it’s best to begin with short walks. Once comfortable, gradually increase the time and intensity of your walks. Add hill walking into your routine for increased endurance and strength. To do this, find a route with hills or do some hill repeats–walking up and down one hill several times in succession. Another effective way to tone up your legs is by adding weights into your walking workout. You can do this with walking poles, weighted vests or a foam roller by increasing resistance while walking.

If you need professional help to recover from an injury, don’t hesitate to contact the experts at Back on Track Physical Therapy. They also offer specialized services like sports rehabilitation and treatment for back pain and sciatica.

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