It’s time to dispel the myth that running is all about your legs. Running engages the entire body in one way or another. Your arms and legs are connected in a closed link with your core. Arms are important for your stride. They provide the counterforce to your legs’ momentum. Simply put, your arms keep your legs moving in a meaningful forward motion that is stable and balanced. If your arms are weak or stiff, this can affect the biomechanics of your stride, balance and overall run. Try “listening” to your whole body on your next run. It’s easy to note stiff quads or fatigued calf muscles after a long run.
As the outdoor running reason winds down, you might be thinking about ways to prevent some of those nagging aches and pains next spring. My patients who are dedicated runners often ask whether they should be ordering custom-made foot orthoses (also known as orthotics or inserts) for their shoes. Some may be recovering from an overuse injury, while others believe custom orthotics will protect from the heavy pounding that occurs from running miles and miles each week.