Always warm up somewhat before stretching and try not to make the stretching too strenuous else you could hurt yourself
Before you set off on your run, it is advisable to warm up for a few minutes, going down from head to toe.. I do a variety of things, but the main purpose is the same: to loosen various parts of the body.
The only thing is: Start slow. Like anything else you do in life, ease into the run from your walk and warm-up, go on for at least five minutes before you get into your plan for the morning and increase the intensity of your run. The more adventurous among us may increase the intensity of the run for a bit in between, but then you need to slow down. At the end of the run, you need to walk again, as you reduce the intensity of the exercise. Do not get caught up in the macho business of “I don’t want to be seen walking in between a run, else I will look like a wimp.”
This is as important as the warm-up, as your muscles need to start de-stressing before they finally get into resting mode.
You may want to swing your arms or do a few shakes that you did during the warming up. You may even want to do something else.
This is one of the most important parts of any exercise to keep you in good shape in the long term. Think of this phase as the servicing and cleaning of the car after a rally. This is also the part that most people tend to skip due to seemingly good reasons: I have no time, stretching is not important, I feel great at the moment so why should I, I am very flexible, I’ll stretch tomorrow….
Always stretch post exercise to ensure that the taut muscles loosen again
But do not kid yourself. Spend five minutes, if not 10, stretching—again—you need to stretch your arms, torso and legs. You could start off with some of the exercises you know or else do the simple ones outlined below:
When experiencing a muscle cramp or a pull, ice the area rather than treating it with heat. Try shortening your stride and doing some gentle stretches.
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