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Posted on 10-03-2017
Did you know that running just 5 to 10 minutes a day dramatically reduces your risk of dying from cardiovascular disease? Apart from the healthy-heart benefits, running encourages the brain to pump out powerful, feel-good chemicals commonly known as endorphins. And to make the good even better, running (unlike just plain walking) strengthens joints and lowers the risk of osteoporosis. Finally, you’ll burn calories and be better able to realize your ideal weight. Do we have your attention?
Of course before you enthusiastically hit the pavement or the treadmill, let’s look at the physical structures that support proper biomechanics of running. This is important, because as is the case with anything worth doing, prepping with good know-how enhances the experience. While running, the lumbar spine (lower spine) extends and the cervical spine (upper spine) retracts. This happens naturally but be aware that the shoulder blades should be comfortably drawn close together and down while the arms swing in rhythm with the feet. To get everything working in sync, take a few moments at the beginning of a run to practice drawing the belly button to the spine. This will assist in aligning your body before you actually go into motion. As you begin moving forward, set your sight on a distant object like a tree. Imagine that there is an invisible string attached to the center of your chest and imagine that you are being pulled by that string to the top of that tree. Shake your hands periodically so that you remember to keep your arms and shoulders loose. By keeping the chest high and shoulders relaxed, the normal curves of the spine will be realized. And guess what? Running will then feel incredibly great and somewhat effortless!
Whether your goal is to simply enjoy running as a wonderful cardio exercise or if your goal is to be an ever-more adept and efficient marathon runner, maintaining alignment of the spine is critical. Awareness of your own body will help you focus on that alignment and regular chiropractic care will assure optimal spinal and overall musculo-skeletal balance. Make sure too, that the running shoes you choose are supporting your body from the feet up.
Next weekend is the 40th Anniversary of the Chicago Marathon. Korwitts Chiropractic would like to recognize and show support for the runners in our community. The significant health benefits of running are well established. If you are already a runner, keep mounting those miles. And if you’re just now thinking about giving running a try, come in to our clinic to get some valuable tips on how to launch yourself into what could easily become a life-giving, life-extending personal practice!
-Michelle Weavil | Rehab Specialist
Excellent article! Thank you for sharing your knowledge.
After reading this article I actually went out yesterday and started adding running to my walking routine! Thanks Michelle!