March 4, 2005  


ES&H Safety Tip: Safe Running

The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons recommends the following tips for safe running:

Warm Up and Stay Hydrated

• Plan a progressive running program to prevent injuries. A five-minute warm-up (which should raise your temperature by one degree) followed by stretching exercises, is essential before starting a run. Following the run, stretching again is important.
• Start your run with the body feeling ’a little cool’ since body temperature will increase when you start running.
• You can lose between six and 12 ounces of fluid for every 20 minutes of running. Drink 10-15 ounces of fluid 10 to 15 minutes prior to running and every 20 to 30 minutes along your route. Weigh yourself before and after a run. For every pound lost, drink one pint of fluid.

What to Wear

• Excessive clothing can produce sweating, which causes the body to lose heat rapidly and can increase the risk of hypothermia. Instead, dress in layers. The inner layer should be material that takes perspiration away from the skin (polypropylene, thermax); the middle layer (not necessary for legs) should be for insulation and absorbing moisture (cotton); the outer layer should protect against wind and moisture (nylon).

When to Run

• During hot weather, run in the early morning or evening, to avoid heat exhaustion. Do not run when pollution levels are high.
• Do not run at night, but if you run at dusk or dawn, wear reflective material. Don’t wear a headset or jewelry while running. Run With a Partner
• Run with a partner. If alone, carry identification, or write your name, phone number, blood type, and medical information on the inside sole of your running shoe.
• Let others know where you will be running, and stay in familiar areas, away from traffic. Have a whistle or other noisemaker to use in an emergency and carry change in case you need to make a phone call.
• Whenever possible, run on a clear, smooth, resilient, even, and reasonably soft surface. Avoid running on hills, which increases stress on the ankle and foot. When running on curved surfaces, change directions in forward movement, so that you have even pressure on both feet during the run.
• Run in the shade if possible to avoid direct sun. If exposed to the sun, apply at least #15 sunscreen. Wear sunglasses to filter out UVA and UVB rays, and wear a hat with a visor to shade your eyes and face.

For more tips and information, see:

(Source: U.S.A. Track and Field Association, Road Runners Club of America and American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine.)



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Last update Wednesday March 02, 2005 by Emily Ball