Running Doctor: How to rehabilitate after injury
Published 2:55 pm, Thursday, January 6, 2011
The best method of getting injured athletes back to their respective events is by walking. Many runners have shifted to walking due to injuries created by marathon or intense running. Walking is an excellent form of recuperation therapy, as it gets the blood moving to the tissues, which acts as a natural healing element.
The list of injured athletes who shift to walking is not limited to just runners. It also includes bicyclists with leg-foot trouble, bowlers with ankle-foot-metatarsal problems, skiers with knee-foot problems, baseball players with arch and toe pain, football and basketball players with foot related knee problems and racket sport players with knee, foot and lower back problems.
The role of the upper body is balance and rhythm. A full, strong-arm swing is an important element of a good walking stride as it keeps the body in balance. The arm swing also acts as a pump and aids in supplying oxygen throughout the body to assist in regular breathing. The proper posture is maintained with an erect stance; the chin is in and up, the abdomen and buttocks are pulled in slightly.
Pacing yourself while breathing properly is important in keeping a good stride. Each breath comes from the lungs and contracts with the stomach as you exhale. Always start with a shorter session when walking and build up as your cardiovascular fitness improves. It is the duration and frequency that is most important.
It should be noted that you burn the same number of calories whether you walk or run one mile. Most people are casual walkers who estimate three to 3.5 miles per hour. When you get up to four or five miles per hour, you are into race-walking and must start paying attention to form as it is difficult to keep up this pace without developing a race walking technique using your arms and hips.
Proper walking shoes are important for support and control. When purchasing shoes, wait until the end of the day when your feet tend to be swollen. Also remember that the less expensive shoes last just as long as the costly ones. Look at your old shoes for wear patterns, as this will help you to purchase new ones without the proper control. If your heels lean inward, you need a shoe with heel control. If your heels slant outward, you need a shoe that has extra cushioning for shock absorption.