Fort Bend County Running Trails: Enjoy and Avoid Running Injuries
Fort Bend County is home to some of the state’s most scenic and incredible running trails. Whether you are a dedicated and experienced runner or someone is who has just recently taken up this activity, you can enjoy the outdoors and get fit when you run along any of the different courses that are available in the area. If you are unaware of what public trails can be found in Fort Bend County, you can plan your next running excursion by learning more about these area hike and bike parks and ranches.
Bays Bayou Hike and Bike Trail
Located in southwest Houston, Bays Bayou Hike and Bike Trail runs through a portion of the area’s bayou near the Houston Zoo and MacGregor Park. It can be accessed from Herman Place on the east end and is situated near the Houston Zoo. If you choose this trail, you should be aware that it is half paved and half dirt. It ends near MacGregor Park where you will also find a recreational center, a pool and other enjoyments.
Terry Hershey Park Hike and Bike Trail
Found in the city’s west end, Terry Hershey Park Hike and Bike Trail runs along the banks of Buffalo Bayou. It connects to the George Bush Hike and Bike Trail, letting runners add to their distance if they choose. The trail starts near Barker Dam and travels along Texas Beltway 8 and the Sam Houston Tollway.
Cross Creek Ranch
The scenic running trail at Cross Creek Ranch goes through rolling hills and along the waterways of Flewellen Creek. You can take your dog along if you like on your run at this park. You also have the opportunity to see some of the state’s natural wildlife and flowers when you choose this course. It is equipped with shaded rest areas if you would like to take a break during your run.
Brazos Bend State Park
Brazos Bend State Park features a 40 acre running trail that passes by Elm and Hale Lakes. It courses through the park’s hardwood forest, making it necessary for runners like you to take precautions before you head out into the park. You can take your dog with you if you choose. However, park officials remind people to stay clear of wildlife and know what to do if you encounter one of the park’s alligators.
Running can be a great way to enjoy the outdoors and get back into shape. However, even the most experienced of runners can get injured. You can protect your health by learning about running-related injuries and knowing when to seek emergency help for them.
Also known as patellofemoral pain syndrome, or PFPS, runner’s knee accounts for as much as 40 percent of all running injuries. It is essentially an irritation of the cartilage under the kneecap. People afflicted with it often have to rest and even go through rehabilitation to overcome the pain and stiffness associated with this injury.
Achilles tendonitis is the irritation of the Achilles tendon that connects your calf muscle to your heel. Eleven percent of runners say they experience this injury at least once in their lives. It typically occurs when people try to increase their training without appropriately strengthening their calf muscles first. Many runners overcome it by icing their injuries and by doing heel drops to condition their legs.
Hamstring Pulls and Tears
Accounting for 7 percent of running injuries, hamstring pulls and tears can happen to people who are too flexible or not flexible enough. You more or less have to strike a perfect balance of flexibility to avoid this type of injury. Hamstring damage can be overcome with rest and by slowing your pace. However, if you notice bruising, you should avoid running until this part of your leg is healed entirely.
Stress fractures can occur in your feet, shins or heels and should be viewed as a serious injury. You can suffer this damage by over-training and also by eating a diet that lacks the proper nutrients your body needs for this activity. Rest and appropriate medical attention are vital to overcoming stress fractures. You essentially have to stay off the affected area until you are healed.
When to Seek Medical Help
Even the seemingly mildest of injury can call for you to seek emergency attention if you experience a number of symptoms. For example, if you have pain that does not respond to rest, ice or over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen, you should go to the emergency room immediately. The pain may signal an oncoming infection or worsening damage.
Likewise, if your injury is not healing or seems to be growing worse, you should also go to the ER for help. You may have an underlying condition that is affecting your recovery or causing the damage to spread to other parts of your body.
Finally, if you develop any new symptoms like a fever or dizziness, you should head to the ER for immediate treatment. New symptoms nearly always mean that you are developing an infection or that your injury is worse than previously diagnosed.
Fort Bend County makes available some of the best running trails in Texas. You can run these courses and enjoy this activity while also keeping in mind of the risks of injury and the need for getting emergency help when needed.