Running has been known to give the human body the necessary exercise to burn away fats, strengthen muscles, build up stamina, and generally just makes you feel good all throughout your body. Running is a very simple activity as you only have to get one of your feet in front of the other, in increasingly rapid succession so as to maintain whatever speed you are aiming for.
But did you know that for running to be successful, one needs to properly warm up to get the maximum benefits that running can give? Warming up is also a way of preventing untoward injuries to your muscles, bones, tendons, and other parts of your body which you can acquire while performing exercise. So it is therefore imperative that you have that pre-exercise ritual to get the most out of your exercise, while keeping yourself safe from injuries at the same time.
How to Warm Up
- Walk around a bit
Before you get out and start running, make sure your body is limber and alive enough to face the incoming strain that will be sure to accompany a bout of running. If you not do this then chances are high that you either may injure something, or you might get tired quickly.
Walk around the place on a normal pace and do so for up to 5 minutes just to be sure everything is loose enough for the activity ahead.
- Perform Stretches
Stretching does wonders especially to the muscles that are used when running. Muscles will contract and expand in the course of running so it is advisable to do stretches on them beforehand to avoid strain or even tearing. Stretching increases the blood flow to the affected areas, increases body temperature and improves the range of motion of the body’s muscles and joints so it really must be done before running.
You can do static stretching or as well as passive stretching. Main areas to do stretches on includes the calf muscles, the hamstrings, the thighs, the foot areas, and the back. You can do stretches against any inanimate object as long as it stays in place. You can push upon the best pack n play and get the same results as when using a gym machine, so it is really up to you how you stretch as long as you do it.
- After you Run, Do Cool Downs
Cool downs are like stretches but you do them after the exercise. We do cool downs to return our bodies to its pre exercise state and also to jump start the recovery process of it. Cool downs help us deal with muscle soreness and the build-up of Lactic acid which is produced when we exert ourselves.
When we do not do cool downs and immediately stop our movements, the lactic acid will do damage to our muscles, making them stiff and harder to heal, hence our bodies ache longer.
To do proper cool downs, we must engage in less strenuous movements, gentler exercises and also stretching. A proper cool down may last up to 5 minutes but it would be all worth it.
A little bit of music will certainly help when doing our stretching and cool downs, like the best yoga DVD which has always been a staple with us, as it focuses our minds and prepare us on whatever task is ahead. Make your own routines when you do your exercises and make sure you include the three basic ones stated above, for a more healthier and stronger you.