fitness physical therapy

Turkey Trot: Avoid Injury for the Big Races

Besides the eating, few Thanksgiving activities have a finer tradition — or can be more satisfying — than a local Turkey Trot. These road races can bring a community together, help individuals stay fit during the holiday, and — unfortunately — result in small injuries that could require physical therapy (think muscle strains and more).

As one trainer told Health.com: “I get out on the road early for a run before the festivities begin. I know later I most likely won’t have the time or energy. Running is also my ‘me’ time; on a day of giving thanks, it’s important to thank yourself for all you do! Having the ability to move, breathe, and share life with others makes me feel even more grateful. The crisp fall air and smell of fallen leaves doesn’t hurt in setting the mood either.”

If you are running in a race this weekend, we hope that you’ve been training. Greatest tried help, offering a regimen of “Exactly How to Train for a 5K Turkey Trot in Just 3.5 Weeks.”

Even if you’ve been training, depending on your local weather, you might face additional concerns of running in the cold.

Shape Magazine offers guidance: “”arming up is more important now than at any other time of year. In average temps when you’re not using your muscles, most of your blood flows to your internal organs. When you start to call on your legs and arms to get moving, blood vessels open up to fuel those working muscles…If you jump right into a sudden, powerful movement such as sprinting on a stiffer-than-normal muscle, that force could lead to injury.”

The piece adds: “When your nerves are colder, there’s slower transmission rate, making, say, your feet a little numb, which could throw off your balance. It’s possible then to be doing damage without being totally aware of it: In warmer weather, you might read a twinge of pain as a signal to ease up; in cold weather, you might push yourself through the twinge toward injury.”

That said, with the proper awareness and prevention, staying fit can be a year-round endeavor.

And just in case this post inspires you to join a local race — even at this late date — we want to help. Women’s Health offers “Your State-By-State Guide To The Top Turkey Trots In 2017.” Don’t see anything? Just type “turkey trot near me” into your search bar… you’ll be surprised how many options come up!