For all those runners out there: there is no second thought about the feeling and high one gets while running. Some felt this bliss when they started at a young 20 years, whereas some began enjoying this at 50. Some enjoy their group runs, whereas some find it meditative to be by themselves. Irrespective of all these variables, what most runners want is to run faster, move effortlessly and most importantly continue running injury free as long as they live. Strength training and stretching are 2 crucial elements that enable these performance enhancements while maintaining health.
The benefits of these are multi-fold:
- Joint health, which is an important concern in the running life can be best preserved by a ‘good’ strengthening and stretching program. What do I mean by ‘good’? Think about what a ‘good’ curry or ‘good’ movie or a ‘good’ phone means. Something that is quality, serves it’s purpose, is enjoyable, is efficient. Every move you make for the purpose of strengthening and stretching should produce the desired effect. And this happens when the correct technique is followed. Similar to how there is a technique to run, box, bat and jump for best results, there is a technique to squat, plank, stretch hamstring and every other exercise.
- Exercises help make the muscles stronger, which are the real movers of the body.
- It is important for a runner to be as light as possible and an appropriate strengthening program helps maintain the muscle mass and body fat just right so that the runner is light yet strong.
- Not only does the supporting exercise program prolong joint life but is also the best medicine and prevention against the niggles of running.
- It could also be assistive in management of other chronic medical problems like diabetes, cancer, etc.