In response to yesterday’s post I was kindly asked if I could share my thoughts about warming up and stretching which I am happy to do. However, as I have only been running for a month, I am in no way an expert.
As with all exercise, only do what you as an individual are able to do. It’s ok to push yourself but not at the detriment to health. So, here goes… my running tips.
- Increases heart rate gradually
- Increases blood flow to the muscles
- Helps loosen up joints
- Reduces risk of injury
- Prepares the body for exercise
- Decreases heart rate
- Keeps joints mobile
- Releases stress in muscles
- Reduces fatigue and soreness of muscles
If you Google “warm up/cool down exercises for running” you could put off running indefinitely while you read all the information. I focus on my hips, knees and ankles and increasing range of movement to warm up, with stretches to cool down.
I reiterate that I am not an expert, this is just what I do!
Pre-run warm up
- Ankle rotations, clockwise for 10, anti-clockwise for 10. Repeat with other foot.
- Hip rotations, extend the range of movement as far as you can, 10 on each side.
- Hip swings, swing one leg forward and backwards 10 times. Swing leg out to the side and back in front of the other leg, 10 times. Repeat with other leg.
- Lunges, alternate front leg, 20 total.
- High knees, marching on the spot bringing your knees up towards your chest, 20 total.
To complete your warm up and ease you gently into running, start with a brisk walk of up to 5 minutes.
Post-run cool down
Similar with the warm up, cool down by walking for up to 5 minutes.
Then concentrate on stretching out your hamstrings, quadriceps, calves and glutes.
I also repeat ankle rotations as part of my cool down.
After running I always have a drink, usually water, to help rehydrate, and a light snack, usually cashew nuts or a banana.
Good luck and please let me know if you have any useful tips.
The below links from Runner’s World may be helpful: