Preventative Clothing and Shoes
Proper clothing can help prevent injuries. Clothes used for physical activity should be comfortable and fit loosely. A T-shirt or sleeveless undershirt and gym shorts are best in warm weather. In cold weather, clothing may be layered according to personal preference. In very cold weather, you may need gloves or mittens and ear-protecting caps. Rubberized or plastic suits should never be worn during exercise. They cause excessive sweating which can lead to dehydration and a dangerous increase in body temperature.
Selecting the Right Running Shoe
Choosing a running shoe that is suitable for your particular type of foot can help you avoid some common running-related injuries. It can also make running more enjoyable and let you get more mileage out of your shoes.
Shoe manufacturers are aware that, anatomically, feet usually fall into one of three categories. Some people have "floppy" feet that are very "loose-jointed." Because feet like this are too mobile, they "give" when they hit the ground. These people need shoes that are built to control the foot's motion. At the other extreme are people with "rigid" feet. These feet are very tight-jointed and do not yield enough upon impact. To help avoid impact-related injuries, these people need shoes that cushion the impact of running. Finally, the third type, or normal foot, falls somewhere between mobile and rigid. This type of foot can use any running shoe that is stable and properly cushioned.
When shopping for running shoes, keep the following in mind:
- Feel the seams inside the shoe to determine if they are smooth, even, and well-stitched.
- Check for loose threads or extra glue spots; they are usually signs of poor construction.
The shoes' ability to protect you from injury decreases as the mileage on them increases. Record the number of miles you run with them on a regular basis, and replace the shoes when they have accumulated 500 to 700 miles even if they show little wear.
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