Saving Your Stride
Saving Your Stride
There was a time in the history of women when people thought females simply shouldn’t run as a sport. The conventional wisdom was that women were too fragile and vulnerable to endure the consistent impact and exertion of running. Some doctors even promoted the idea that athletic running could harm in woman’s ability to have children! Fortunately for women everywhere that day is over. Running is a fast-growing hobby and sport for men and women of all ages. Although once considered rough on the back, bones, and knees, with the proper attire running is a safe and life-giving enterprise.
The most important piece of equipment a runner has besides their own muscle is a good pair of running shoes. It is the shoes that keeps the impact from harming joints and bones and allows the runner to spring forward with a natural stride. Good running shoes have well supported sides and a reinforced heel specifically designed for shock absorption. The most important element of buying a running shoe is to try it on in the store and make sure it fits perfectly. Do not buy a shoe that you have to “break-in”. A running shoe should fit comfortably from the moment you put it on. Running shoes should also have the capability of flexing with the foot and have a reinforced toe.
An often overlooked piece of apparel in a woman’s running attire, a good sports bra is essential to correct posture and to avoid physical damage while running. The best sports bra for a female runner is dictated by their body type. Smaller breasted women should use a compression style sports bra that provides back support and aligns the front for better forward mobility. Compression bras are not made for large breasted women who should buy a sports bra specifically designed to separate the breasts giving balance and stability to the runner. One of the hardest things to do is get a woman to throw away a bra, however once a sports bra loses its elasticity or begins to chafe, the bra must go.
New runners, having already paid $100 for a pair of shoes, sometimes think they can throw on any pair of shorts and begin running. There are shorts specifically designed for running that allow the athlete to fulfill a longer stride and participate in a more comfortable fashion. Many women run in shorts made for soccer or tennis as both tend to have flared sides which allow for a longer leg stride. Professional running shorts are often made with the whisking material that keeps moisture and sweat from gathering and creating rashes or discomfort. Shorts that come with the sewn in lining also serve to protect the skin of the runner and provide more comfort down the road.
Running is a sport that requires the whole body and the whole body should be outfitted as such. By spending the time and energy to investigate and purchase the right apparel, a runner can affirm she is on the right track to health and fitness.