I went for a run the other day in this beautiful weather we are having. On my cool down, I watched the other runners intently and became very aware of their patterns.
Patterns are things we do without thinking and I'm sure if those runners were looking in the mirror, they would recognize what they were doing to their bodies and make a change. Here are two examples of what I saw and suggestions on how to change the patterns to keep your body healthy.
Mr. Water carried a water bottle in his left hand which decreased the amount of free movement in his left shoulder girdle. The right continued to move front and back in opposition to his feet, but had a little more motion than necessary to compensate for the left side. This holding pattern creates tension in the shoulder and neck of the left side. It will also affect the right hip and left foot in order to create balance in the body.
My suggestion to Mr. Water is to get the smaller water bottles that fit into a belt around the waist. This way, the extra weight is evenly distributed at your center of gravity and therefore does not put one extremity under stress, which in turn affects the whole body.
Ms. Texter was typing on her phone while she was running. Her shoulders went up to her ears and her head leaned forward to get closer to the screen. I'm not saying I have never done the same thing, but observing someone else shows how this action really puts the posture out of whack!
In running, the forward motion is initiated with the head and has the body on a slight diagonal from head to feet. If the head stays over the shoulders, over the hips, over the knees, over the ankles, you're in the clear. But if that 8-10 pound head of yours is forward and your body is behind, you are asking for pain and compensations to appear in the body.
My suggestion to Ms. Texter is to either enjoy her run without the interruptions of technology or stop and take a break if something important needs her attention. If she does the latter, keeping her shoulders and neck in alignment while raising the phone up so the screen is in front of her face is ideal. If this sounds like too much to think about, you may just want to wait till you get back to the office to attend to your phone.
I hope these suggestions are helpful wether you are a runner or not in keeping your body out of pain. If you are having discomfort and you are not sure where it's coming from, send me an email or schedule an appointment so we can move you from pain to pain-free.