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
• 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.)