Running is a blessed feeling and being a runner is an equally blessed experience. Those who are part of a running routine know the feeling of high that first few drops of sweats on one’s forehead can give. The strength looming inside one’s body after a great session of running is what runners really live for. But as exciting as it may feel, there is always a possibility of meeting some mishappenings. So its very pertinent to be prepared for any undesirable situation. Below are some important first aid tips that can be useful to all those who long to spend more and more time on the track.
EXHAUSTION DUE TO HEAT
Running is an extreme cardio workout which always leads to huge sweating. Sweating is great for the body as toxins of the body are released through sweat and pumping the heart high, under the comfort level, keeps it healthy. But sometimes when a huge amount of water and salt is lost and is not replenished for long hours then it may lead to heat exhaustion due to loss of salt and water. The heat exhaustion does not take place at once and occurs slowly. The symptoms of heat exhaustion are a headache, nausea, weakening pulse, clammy palm, dry mouth. If these are the symptoms then instantly gulp some isotonic sports drink to replenish body fluids and visit a doctor. Heat exhaustion is a serious condition and develops when dehydration is left untreated. It is highly recommended that you visit a doctor on facing heat exhaustion and take a couple of days off from the track. To avoid dehydration and heat exhaustion one must drink plenty of water and on feeling dizzy should take proper rest to avoid further problems. Always remember that it is good to push the boundaries of the body but it is equally important to set some rules to avoid collapsing.
Blisters are among those tiny annoying problems that are inevitable and if poked wrongly easily develops into a painful major problem. Blisters are common among runners due to friction against a rough surface, usually at the back of the feet due to trainers. If you get a blister, the most important thing is to not burst it. Breaking the blister will make it more painful and may increase the risk of infection. First gently clean the surface with distilled water and then apply gel blister pads or blister plaster. Petroleum jelly can also be used to help increase the process of healing. Also, to avoid blisters on the feet choose trainers with a soft cushion at the back instead of hard surface to avoid friction. You can also use a clean cotton, placed at the back of the shoe, to create an even softer surface.
Almost the second most occurring and recurring problem among runners is the knee injury. If you have been a runner for quite a while, then you know how common and frustrating knee problem can be for runners. A knee is that essential part of the body that bears the weight our body and thus it is always under a strain all the time. Having strong knees is such a cardinal principle to be a runner and hence taking good care of them is really important. If your knee is hurt or injured due to repetitive running movements, then the first thing to do is lie down, relieving the injured knee from any kind of pressure. Use a cold pack over the knee but not more than 10 minutes in a go. If the swelling still pertains then use bandages and soft padding to support the knee to reduce swelling. If the swelling or pain continues to exist then consult a doctor immediately instead of trying any further basic remedies.
CUTS AND GRAZES
Cuts and grazes happen due to breaking and scraping off of the upper layer of the skin. Cuts and grazes should be cleaned with water first or with alcohol-free wipes. After cleaning the injured area gently wipe the moist, wet skin using a clean cloth or a sterile gauze. If there is slight bleeding then put some pressure on the area to stop bleeding. If the wound is infected due to dirt then it is highly recommended to get it cleaned by a medical professional. Small grazes and cuts generally do not require much dressing, except few bandages. Larger cuts and grazes should be taken care of properly as negligence may lead to increase in the injury.
KEEP THE CAR STOCKED UP
It is not possible to carry the whole first aid kit while running but it is definitely possible to keep your car stocked up with isotonic sports drinks, bandages,
ice packs, bandages for sprains and muscle spray. These general utility supplies can really come handy while you are away from medical assistance. These small can really help even during a major medical emergency until the medical professionals arrive.
The above-given solutions are just a part of basic first aid kit for minor problems and are in no way intended to be used during a major emergency. In case of a major injury instead of procrastinating at home, contact a medical professional and get yourself treated as soon as possible. Always remember, it is better to be safe than sorry.