Written by Megan Weiler, Krista Trim and Kayli McClelland
The days are getting longer, the sun is shining warmer, and the people are coming out to play. It’s spring time, and we’re going to enjoy every minute of it.
The easiest way to take advantage of the changing weather is to get out there and move! In whatever way is best for you and the children and youth in your care, get out the door and feel the sun on your face.
The Alberta Medical Association Youth Run Club is here to help you make that happen! The free, fun and flexible program provides everything you need to start a movement program suitable for everyone. Run, walk or roll your way to better physical and mental health!
If you need a push to dive in, the AMA Youth Run Club is offering grants of up to $2,000 to support your run club this spring.
In addition, and as a fun way to either kick off or wrap up your club the AMA Youth Run Club is hosting a virtual spring fun run! It’s free to participate and there are more than $4,000 worth of prizes to be won. From May 17–21, run, walk or roll anywhere from 1–5km when it works best for you. Document your movement through a photo or video and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. That’s it – you’re entered to win!
We want to set you up for success in your running and movement journey, so let’s talk about ways to prevent and ease shin splints, and some tips for planning your next running route.
Shin Splints: A Runner’s Nightmare
If you’ve ever dealt with shin splints in the past then it’s no secret: they’re a pain (I know, my puns are bad). But all jokes aside they are an extremely common injury in sport, and can be quite the nuisance. Shin splints have many causes and are frequent in the running community, especially in new runners, or runners working to increase their route distance. But alas, EAS is here to provide you with a new exercise to use in order to help prevent shin splints!
The lovely thing about this exercise is that all you need is a towel, and it can be done at your desk while you’re working. It’s a simple exercise that will help strengthen the muscles around your shin.
- While sitting at your table, put a towel on the ground at your toes. With shoes and socks removed, sit and scrunch the towel with your toes.
- Scrunch the towel with your toes for 10 minutes (feel free to go longer if you wish), and repeat daily.
If you deal with shin splints while running, also make sure to ice the area for 20 minutes after running to help alleviate inflammation. Ice and strengthen and you’ll be back at it in no time!
Route Mapping Ideas
It can be tough to pick where you’re going to run, and it’s easy to get into the routine of running the same route every time you go out. But if you’re trying to plan a new route, here are some extra tips to keep in mind:
- If it’s accessible, go for a run in and around the parks and nature areas in your city. Not only will it be a beautiful run, but it’s also healthier and safer than running alongside a road! Traffic is one safety concern, but another concern is the exhaust from vehicles. When you’re running your lungs are working hard, and breathing in exhaust is quite hard on your lungs while exercising
- Along your route, plan areas that can be rest stops along your run. If you’re new to running or looking to increase your distance, it’s always a good idea to add in some rest and stretch breaks. However, you could also use these planned stops to do short little exercise circuits in the middle of your run to spice things up!
- Google maps is a great tool to use when mapping as you can see the exact distance that you’ll be going and it often includes running and biking trails.
- In regards to distance, account for your cool down. A good way to do this is to make the route slightly longer than your intended running distance. This way, once you hit your desired running distance, the rest of the route will be used to cool-down (lightly jog, walk, and stretch)
- Consider using our Map and Explore Your 2.4 resource to learn more about your community while you run!
Wishing you a happy and active spring from EAS!