Are you a regular runner or considering adding running into your exercise regimen? Running is such an incredible physical activity, for both the mind and the body. We’ve outlined 10 MUST have items for every runner, to help you have the best run possible and avoid injuries along the way!
A Good Pair of Running Shoes
I almost didn’t write this one in the post, because it’s obviously a no-brainer, but I realized that SO many patents ask us about running shoes and this was indeed a discussion worth having. While it’s SO easy to gravitate toward a color or pattern of running shoes that you like in the store, I HIGHLY suggest that you do NOT do this! Sure you want to be motivated to put those kicks on before journeying to the gym or great outdoors, but style does not matter when it comes to running. What matters? The RIGHT SHOE FOR YOU!
Shoes come in all shapes and size, with different supports for different people. This is why we recommend buying a running shoe from a PROPER RUNNING SHOE STORE! Head to a shoe store where there are specialists for running shoes. They’ll watch you run on the treadmill, measure your feet and choose the proper support and shoe for you. This will help you drastically reduce your risk for injury and run better and faster!
I cannot tell you how many runs I’ve gone on in an uncomfortable tank top where I’m constantly pulling it down or my shorts are riding up…it’s SO annoying! INVEST in good fitting, comfortable, durable running clothes. Clothes that won’t fall apart after three months and that absorb sweat are a MUST. While Lululemon isn’t in the budget for everyone, I prefer their clothes over any other I’ve tried because they are SO durable and last forever. I’ve had the SAME pair of running tights from them for six years now that I wear on long runs weekly and they still look brand new.
Another VERY smart investment is to purchase a Safety Light, especially if you intend to run in the morning or evening. These lights blink and reflect, so traffic can see you clearly.
A Running Watch
You can read any running forum and there will be a plethora of different watches to choose from with multiple people arguing why their choice is the best. I’ve been running since I was a teenager and the BEST watches I’ve ever personally used are the Fitbit Flex, Garmin Forerunner and Apple Watch. Each watch depends on your personal preference and budget. I like the Apple Watch the best because it’s a multi-purpose watch that I can wear all day while treating patients and while exercising. It’s stylish and its linked to my phone, so I can receive calls and texts/work simultaneously with it.
A Foam Roller
The BEST way for any runner to prevent injuries is to STRETCH, both after warming up 10 minutes and after the run. Develop a proper stretch routine by watching Youtube or learning from an experienced runner.
Investing in a foam roller is a GAME CHANGER. I even recommend foam rollers for my patients that aren’t runners as well because they’re a GREAT way to loosen up the muscles and work out tight areas. Foam rolling is a form of self-massage, that breaks up adhesions in muscles, increases blood flow to your muscles and ultimately increases mobility and flexibility. This reduces the risk for injuries, so you’ll be running at your optimum potential!
I purchased the TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller 5+ years ago and it’s still in excellent shape. It even comes with instructional videos so you’ll know exactly how to use it.
Sweat Proof Headphones
I have gone through COUNTLESS number of headphones throughout the years that all ended up shorting out after 6-12 months of running and sweating with them. Thus far, the ONLY headphones I’ve ever owned that haven’t ventured to an early grave are the BeatsX Wireless In-Ear Headphones. I LOVE them because not only is the sound fantastic, but they are wireless, which is super convenient if you need to tie your shoe, do jumping jacks, stretch, etc.
If you’re running outdoors, then you need to protector your eyes! Purchase a pair of sunglasses to run in that you don’t mind breaking or sweating all over, because they’re bound to get beat up. Be sure they’re confortable and don’t slide down your nose while running (this can get really annoying).
If you’re putting in the miles, then an anti-chafe balm is essential, even for men. I put it on my thighs, my underarms and where my sports bra touches my sternum. BodyGlide Original Anti-Chafe Balm is the best around and one stick lasts FOREVER. I think I’ve had the same stick for 3 years!
A Carrier Belt
When running outdoors, especially for longer distances, it’s always good to carry your ID, some cash and your keys. The Running Buddy – “Buddy Pouch” is our GO-TO not just for running, but for traveling as well (we use it for our passports and cash when flying and traveling internationally). It’s a great way to keep things safe and secure while you’re on the go!
When training for a marathon, I found that I liked the Hand-Held Running Water Bottles better than the Running Belts, but you can choose whatever works best for you. Just make sure you’re hydrating on those long runs!
An Ice Pack
EVERY runner should have an ice pack in their freezer, in the event that there is an injury. Research has proven that if you ice an injury immediately afterward, you’ll heal up to 50% faster. Keep in mind that you should only ice the affected area for 20 minutes, then take 40 minutes off. You can repeat this every hour, if necessary. We like the Thermopeutic Premium Reusable Ice or Microwavable Heat Pad because it can be used as both a hot and cold pack. It also comes with great straps to help secure the pack on whichever body part is injured.
After icing, a pain relieving gel or cream is always a good idea for sore muscles or an injury. We’ve used Biofreeze Pain Relief Gel for years on our patients. It’s the most affective, non-toxic, non-steroidal topical cream out there. I recommend the roller so you don’t get it on your hands. It can be applied 3 times daily.
A Running Buddy
There’s no better way to run than with someone else! Having a running buddy holds you accountable and gives extra motivation, so it’s always good to join a local running group that meets weekly or team up with a friend who is looking to get into better shape as well. If you don’t have an abundance of friends or groups around, I HIGHLY recommend the Aaptiv App! Aaptiv is like having a personal trainer in your ear, the entire time. They offer up workouts for all different levels of fitness that include walking, running, elliptical, cycling, yoga, weights and SO much more. I’ve been using the app daily for over a year now and I still LOVE it! Check out our discount code for a FREE 30 day trial!
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Thanks so much for reading! Here’s to better posture and better health!
Dr. Nichole 🙂
Co-Creator: Posture Protector App