How to Warm Up for a Run

Warming up before a run gives you body a chance to prepare for the strain it will endure while exercising. Warming up is crucial to any exercise regimen implemented. It helps significantly reduce the risk of injury to the body. In most cases, if a major exercise program is started with warm up activity injury occurs. Here are a few tips on how to warm up before a run.


Step 1

Prepare your body for running by stretching. For example, leg and arm stretches, and back stretches are all very great ways to warm up the body parts involved in the element of running. Stretch your shoulders, neck, calf muscles, quadriceps, hamstrings and groin area. Hold each stretch for 15 to 30 seconds. Make sure you keep your knees flexible and slightly bent during warm up. You should stretch for a total of 10-15 minutes. These static stretches should be done gradually. Avoid bouncing or quick movements while holding a stretch. This could increase your chance and risk of injury and/or lead to torn ligaments and strained muscle.

Step 2

To make the run easier you should implement light aerobic exercise.  Try a brisk walk or stationary bike to warm up. The slight calisthenics will warm and loosen the muscles. Each aerobic exercise should be 5-10 minutes long. You may take a short walk but try not to rush this part of the regimen. As your body warms you’ll notice that each movement becomes easier. This is how you can tell if your body is warmed up prior to any further exercise. Your body will give you signals when it has been warmed up and is ready to take on the challenge of more strenuous exercise. If you feel like you are more limber than when you began to stretch this is an indication that your muscles are warming up to the work you are putting them through.

Step 3

Start your daily run. Don’t start out at a sprint. Instead, start out at a pace that is moderate that you can maintain for some distance. This can help build endurance and protect you from the chance and risk of injury.

Step 4

Cool down. Taking a few minutes to cool down could be the difference between safety and injury as well. Cooling the body down is just as important as warming the body up. Your heart rate is elevated, muscles have been worked and your body requires that you slowly help it regain normality. Walk for 5-10 minutes to help with circulation and to lower the heart rate. Do a few static stretches to avoid muscle cramping and to help prevent soreness from lactic acid build up.

Filed Under: Sports & Fitness


About the Author: By profession, Ralph Crutcher is a swimmer but enjoys playing football, Golf, and regularly goes to the gym to keep himself fit and healthy. This is one of the reasons; he likes to write about sports and fitness.

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