Last week, approximately 100,000 runners will have received their ballot allocated places for arguably the largest running event in the UK, the London Marathon, due to take place on the 3rd of October 2021.
With a little over 7 months to the big day, training is likely already underway and due to pick up pace over the coming weeks.
According to a recent survey by Sports England as many as 22% of adults were running on a weekly basis1 during the previous lockdown, with 65% of people using exercise to help manage their mental health during this unprecedented year1.
For those inspired to apply and lucky enough to draw a coveted race place, it’s time to turn words into action. However, whether a complete beginner or the seasoned pro, running injuries can affect people of all levels. In fact, studies have estimated that in any given year up to 79% of regular runners will experience an injury2, most commonly located in the knees – these Joint Care Tips for Runners could help.
Discussing the impact of running on joints, Physiotherapist Sammy Margo comments;
“Joint stiffness or pain, especially in the load-bearing joints such as the knees or hips, could be a warning sign for the start of something more serious and can affect anyone at any age or ability. Young adults are just as at risk of developing joint conditions from repetitive injuries or over usage as an adult that experiences arthritic conditions due to their age.”
Injuries to the knee are the most common issue for runners, but hip and ankle joints can also be problematic. Although being active is thought to provide a level of protection against osteoarthritis, research has suggested that sports injuries can increase the risk of developing the condition – as well as seriously impacting on training.
However, simple lifestyle changes can help to protect and prolong joint health. Sammy adds, “Early intervention is key, especially when enjoying high impact sports, and adding a supplement to your daily routine, alongside maintaining a well-balanced and varied diet, can offer additional support to achieving optimal joint health. The double anti-inflammatory effects of GOPOâ and ginger combined provide targeted relief to safeguard your joints and maintain an active lifestyle.”
With events attracting a full spectrum of abilities, participants need to do all they can to care for their joints during the build-up. Ensure you’re fully prepared and help to protect your joints with this running joint care checklist:
Joint Care Tips for Runners – Are your joints ready?
- Best foot forward: Invest in properly fitted, well cushioned running shoes to help increase stability for joints. With a multitude of styles to choose from, ensure you do your research and choose a pair suited to your foot shape, arch type and strike pattern.
- as you mean to go on: A thorough and proper warm up targeting all the major joints is important. Dynamic stretches and an active warm up (rather than simply stretching cold muscles) help blood flow to the muscles supporting the joints and aids synovial fluid flow, which in turn helps to reduce friction. A good warm up should also help you focus.
- Mix it up: Try to avoid only running on unforgiving surfaces such as concrete and tarmac; mix it up and schedule some regular routes on softer ground though the park or a local nature reserve.
- Add an anti-inflammatory supplement to your diet: Arthritic conditions benefit from foods which reduce inflammation and boost your immune system. GOPOâ Joint Health Plus Ginger contains specially cultivated rose-hip powder and ginger which have been clinically reviewed to provide a safe alternative to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and relieve stiff joints the morning after intense exercise. The active compound within rosehip known as GOPOâ prevents the migration of white blood cells to the inflamed tissues by switching off the genes responsible for inflammation and destruction.
- Take it easy: If new to running, start gradually and listen to your body to avoid over doing it and the risk of injury. Remember the importance of rest days in helping your body recover.
- Pay attention: Don’t ignore injuries and hope they will simply disappear; this may cause permanent issues long term. Seek professional help for injuries to give your body the best care possible. It may also be beneficial to visit your doctor for a once over before you begin training to ensure you’re fully fit.
Joint Care Tips For Runners
GOPO® Joint Health Plus Ginger is the first UK supplement to contain the unique combination of ginger extracts with the powerful anti-inflammatory GOPO® – a galactolipid extracted from the seeds and husks of the rosa-canina plant. The double anti-inflammatory effects of GOPO® and ginger combined provide targeted relief to safeguard your joints and maintain an active lifestyle.
Ginger has been shown to activate anti-inflammatory proteins to reduce morning joint stiffness3 and muscle pain by 25%4. In conjunction, GOPO® has been shown to regenerate cartilage and improve joint flexibility5. Both Ginger and GOPO® have been recommended as a long-term solution to improve joint health and reduce the need for ibuprofen or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).