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Learning to run? Take it slow to prevent injuries

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Albany/HV: Learning to run? Take it slow to prevent injuries
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Learning to run can certainly be intimidating, but don't let it scare you from giving it a try.

"Everybody that is a runner started running at some point and couldn't even run a mile. And then you slowly just have to be patient and built up over time," said Jodie Brown, the nursing director at Upstate University Hospital.

Before you hit the road, there are a few things you need to know to stay safe. A good pair of shoes that fit properly are essential.

"Shoes can be expensive, but I would argue that even if you end up not being an avid runner, having a really supportive pair of walking shoes or shoes just to go through day to day is not a bad investment because it really does support your back and will prevent injury to your feet," said Brown.

Experts recommend getting support from a friend or a local running group, and starting off with a slow mix of running and walking.

"The talk test is getting with that buddy and you talk to them as you're running, and if you're huffing and puffing, you're going too fast, too far. You need to change that stride and slow it down a bit," said Suzanne Brisk, coordinator Upstate Pathway to Wellness.

Starting slow not only helps you get acclimated to running, but it also reduces your risk for injuries. You're also encouraged to incorporate strength training and stretching into your daily routine.

"One of the injuries that might happen to you is simply misjudging the sidewalk or perhaps getting on some uneven pavement and your ankle kind out from underneath you. But if you've got your flexibility and you've also been doing your strength training with your ankle, then it's less risk of an injury," said Brisk.

Don't get discouraged, the hardest part is always taking that first step.

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