How To Safely Get Through A 5K Fun Run

Are you interested in participating in a 5k run this year?  If so, good for you!  It’s a challenging undertaking, but one that will make you feel great when you complete it.

As with anything sports related though, there’s always the risk of injury.

Here are a few things to keep in mind to minimize your risks and help you improve your odds of reaching the finishing line.

Start Training Right Away

This is a big one, and sadly, it’s often overlooked.  Most people don’t fully appreciate how daunting a challenge a 5k run can be until they’ve attempted it.  It’s not a challenge to be taken lightly, and your preparation should begin several weeks before the run itself.

Start by walking a 5k route to get a feel for it. Then, over time, build up to jogging intermittently, and then finally run the full distance.  Don’t be surprised if you can’t finish the run on your first try.

A Good Warm-Up Is Crucial

As with any form of exercise, warming up before the main event is crucial. This benefits you mentally and physically, prepares you for the challenge ahead, and limbers up your body so it’s up to the task.  If you forego a good warmup, you’re more than three times as likely to hurt yourself.  This is easy to prevent!

Shoes (and Socks) Matter

Running is like any other sport.  To do it well, you need the right equipment.  In this case, the right equipment comes down to shoes and socks.  Be sure you’ve got a great pair of running shoes that fit you properly and have plenty of support.  Make sure your socks fit snugly, but not too snugly.  You don’t want them to feel tight on your feet as this could cause problems ranging from blisters to athlete’s foot, or worse.

Don’t let a needless injury sideline you.  Take sensible precautions before and during your 5k run, then go out and conquer it!

Computer Workers Watch Your Posture

Americans lead increasingly sedentary lifestyles. They often spend the greater portion of each day sitting hunched over a computer, whether in the office or at home.  If we’re not hunched over our computers, we’re hunched over our smartphones.


Either way, the result is the same.  All those hours tend to take their toll.  Fortunately, there are a few simple things you can do to spare yourself the back and neck pain that accompanies those long hours spent hunched over.  Most of these things apply to PC users, but the first applies to both PC and smartphone users.


This is probably the single biggest thing you can do.  Pay attention to your posture, whether looking at your smartphone or your PC.  Sit up straight and don’t angle your neck downward.  If you’re using a smartphone, simply hold the phone higher so you’re looking at it straight on.

Redesign Your Workspace

Since you can use your smartphone anywhere, this one applies specifically to PC users.  Sadly, the way you’ve got your workspace arranged can foster bad posture habits.  Make sure that your monitor is sitting high enough that you don’t have to crane your neck to see it, and angle it upwards slightly if needs be.

In some cases, users may have the opposite problem, where their monitor is too high.  In this case, lowering it may not be possible, but even then, most monitors have an angle adjustment feature which you can use to angle it down.

Also make sure that your keyboard is placed for maximum comfort, and if need be, install a padded wrist protector.

Your Chair

Being mindful of your posture will help, but if at all possible, get an ergonomic chair for your desk (both at the office and at work).  This isn’t a direct substitute for mindfulness, but a properly designed chair will not only increase your comfort, but also foster better sitting habits.

The bottom line is, spending hours each day working on a PC or your phone doesn’t mean you’re destined to have to live with back or neck pain.  There are things you can do to mitigate that!

Avoid Common Pool Injuries With These Tips

Who doesn’t love a refreshing dip in a pool during those hot summer months?  It’s a great way to have fun and stay comfortable.

Unfortunately, a day at the pool can also be dangerous.  Here are the most common pool-related injuries and how to avoid them:

They Say No Running For A Reason!

Most pools have a list of rules posted, and at or near the top is the one about “no running.”  It’s not that the pool owners are being nags or “nervous Nellies,” the simple fact is that water, being wet, tends to make surfaces slippery, which makes them treacherous to walk on.  Running makes matters worse. No matter what kind of shape you’re in, if you fall onto unforgiving concrete, you’re going to come out on the losing end of that exchange.

If you’re lucky, you’ll only come away with skinned arms or knees.  If you’re not so lucky, you could wind up with a concussion, or a serious back or neck injury, and that’s before you consider what might happen if you fall into the water itself!

Diving Accidents

Even if you’re not trying to showboat on the diving board, one misstep could lead to disaster.  It pays to keep several things in mind with diving:

  • Be sure you know the depth of the water you’re diving into, and that there’s enough depth in the pool that you won’t encounter the bottom of it with your head.
  • Be sure the area you’re diving into is clear of other swimmers. One moment of carelessness could hurt you and someone else you’re sharing the pool with.
  • As tempting as it might be to showboat on the diving board, try to resist the urge. While the resulting dive might be spectacular, the more you try to show off, the higher your chances of hurting yourself!

Too Clean Can Be As Bad As Not Clean Enough

Pool owners tend to be fastidious when it comes to keeping the water in their pool clean, but sometimes, it can be a case of too much of a good thing.  Excess chemicals in the water of your pool can cause burns and irritations of the skin, to say nothing of the damage it can cause to your eyes if you swim underwater with them open.

The key here is to check your pool’s PH levels on a regular basis to make sure you’re not endangering the swimmers you’re inviting over!

Keeping these things firmly in mind will help you avoid the most common poolside injuries this year.  By all means, go out and have fun, but be careful!

Summer Activities Bring Potential For Injuries

With summer fast approaching, you’re probably looking forward to getting outside, enjoying the warm, sunny weather and having fun.  Unfortunately, summertime fun brings with it the possibility of injury, especially if you’ve been cooped up all winter and aren’t in peak physical condition.

Here are some pointers designed to help you maximize your enjoyment of the season while minimizing the risks:

Start Slow

Remember, it may have been a few months or longer since you really pushed your body. Don’t jump right in thinking you’ll be able to do everything you want to do.  Take it easy.  Go slow and pay attention to the signals your body is sending you.  It’ll let you know (usually loudly and clearly) when you start to overdo it.

Don’t Forget To Warm Up!

Anytime you undertake a strenuous physical activity, a good, vigorous warmup is essential.  Start with some simple stretches and flexes to get your body prepared for the exercise ahead, whatever form it takes.  Just as important is the cooldown.  Once you’ve finished for the day, another round of stretching will help your body relax, which will go a long way toward minimizing muscle strain and pain.


This one is often overlooked, but is absolutely essential.  Whether you’re running, jumping, or lifting as part of the activity you’ve got planned, be sure to pay attention to exactly how you’re moving and using your body.  Posture and form matter. If you twist or spin the wrong way, your body will be quick to let you know about it, which usually results in a sharp, sudden pain.

One of the best ways to suffer a strain or sprain is to just go full tilt, with no regard to your posture.  Doing that can put you on the sidelines for days, or even weeks.  Don’t let it happen to you!

Keeping these three simple tips in mind will help you have a safe, happy, and pain free summer.