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5 Tips to Help You Sidestep Injuries

Curb Time in Flip-Flops

If you’re prone to plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendinitis, don’t spend your summer in flip-flops. For starters, flimsy flops offer no arch support. And having to clench your toes to hold your foot in place can cause Achilles tendinitis. But most worrisome: The repeated rise of your heel off the back of the flip-flop can alter your gait when you walk—and possibly when you run. Look for sandals with a molded arch or strap to secure your heels. If your feet or ankles hurt, wear more supportive shoes.

Avoid These Pills

The FDA recently issued stronger warnings about a class of antibiotics—fluoroquinolones (which includes Cipro and Levaquin)—linked to an increased risk of tendon tears. Fluoroquinolones affect proteins that regulate tissue repair—and can be directly toxic to tissue, especially tendons. Ask your doctor about safe alternatives, including penicillin, amoxicillin, and azithromycin.

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Buy a Second Pair

A Scandinavian study reports that runners can lower their injury risk by rotating between two or more pairs of shoes. Changing footwear alters your running pattern and varies the forces on your legs. Wear a more supportive, cushioned shoe for distance runs and a lighter, flexible shoe for speedwork. Bonus points for picking up a third: The more shoes in your rotation, the better. Find the best selection of running shoes at SportsActionStore.com.

Get Iron

Iron plays an essential role in shuttling oxygen to muscles. Having low levels can hurt your muscles’ ability to repair themselves. Women need 18 milligrams per day, while men need eight milligrams. Iron-rich foods include lean red meat, fish, dark poultry, and beans (talk to your doctor before taking a supplement). If you experience ongoing fatigue or a sudden decrease in running performance, ask your doc to check your stored iron levels.

Drink Up

Taking a few swigs before a summer run is a no-brainer, since dehydration can up your risk of heat-related illnesses. But fluids are essential for all physical reactions—including muscle functioning and joint cushioning. Women should take in 91 fluid ounces per day and men should get 125, which can come from water, sports drinks, and water-rich fruits and veggies.

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Source: Runner's World (http://www.runnersworld.com/) 

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