Best Ways To Warm Up Before You Run
So how do you like to start a run? Do you stretch or warm up before you head out or do you just pull on your running shoes or trail running shoes and charge out the door? You may think you don’t need a warm up before you run, but warming up is essential before any type of exercise, and that includes running.
As the name suggests, a warm-up should raise your body temperature. This improves your circulation so that blood can flow more readily to your muscles, flooding them with much-needed oxygen. A good warm-up will also limber up your joints and get your heart ready for action. All of this will help you get the most out of your run and goes a long way in preventing injuries such as pulled muscles, sprained tendons and a whole host of other problems.
To help you put your best foot forward, you should use these tips to warm up before you run so you get the maximum benefits and enjoyment out of your daily exercise.
Many of us have a tendency to wake up feeling a little on the stiff side, but once we get moving its all fine. Even so, stretching is one of the best ways to warm up before a run or any other exercise for that matter. Stretching is great for lubricating your joints and it gets most of the kinks out of your body.
There are two main types of stretches. They are static stretches and dynamic stretches. Static stretches involve elongating your muscles and holding the stretch for a few seconds. While this is a great stretch, it’s not really recommended before a run as it has been linked to injuries. However, dynamic stretches involve stretching out your limbs in controlled movements. Dynamic stretches are fantastic at loosing tight muscles, increasing your heart rate and elevating your core temperature. Exactly what you want to do before a run.
Don’t discount static stretches just yet, you can engage in these after your run or if you need to take a break from a demanding desk job.
Walk, Don’t Run
Yes, you’ve set out to go for a run, but that doesn’t mean you need to start at a full sprint. Start off by walking. Purposefully, of course. You’re not off for a stroll in the park, but set out nice and easy and walk for a few minutes first. At the very least, walk to the corner of your street before you pick up the pace. A determined walk will get your joints and muscles working in much the same way as running but without the stress. This is a great way to get your body’s core temperature up so it won’t take long before you are fired up and ready to go.
Jogging Is Good Too
If you’re bored with walking but don’t quite feel ready for a sprint, spend a few minutes jogging. You’re still not putting a lot of strain on your body, but this light cardio exercise is a perfect way to work towards the main event, and that is reaching the point where you can comfortably run. Those few minutes you spend jogging will get you feeling pumped and ready to run.
Jogging is also a great way to alternate your daily run. When you feel yourself getting tired, but you aren’t ready to call it a day just yet, slow down your pace and jog again. Once you catch your breath a little and feel ready again, you can hit your high running speeds with a full run again.
Grab The Rope
Jumping rope is another great way to warm up before you run. It’s also incredibly easy so you’ll love it. Just grab the rope and get your cardiovascular system pumping. A few minutes is all you need to get a great warm-up going with a rope and the added bonus is you need to use your arms so you can sneak in a bit of an upper body workout as well. Change the types of jumps you do. Start with jumping with both feet together and then modify by switching feet with each swing of the rope.
To Warm Up Mind And Body, Do Yoga
Not all yoga sessions need to be an hour long and as the stretches in a yoga routine are very controlled and involve a lot of breathing, it’s a fantastic way to warm up before you run. If you can find a routine that you can do in around 20 minutes or less, you’ll have given your body a great stretch. Not only that, but the concentration and deep breathing that is the best part of yoga will have a positive effect on your mind and will get you mentally and physically ready to run. And as many workout pants are stretchy and breathable, you won’t need to change your clothes in between these two workouts. Just move fluidly from yoga to running and cool yourself down when you’re done. Then you can get changed.
On The Spot Warm-Ups
There are dozens of different exercises you can do on the spot and most of them are awesome for warming up before you run. These exercises can be as simple as jumping jacks, which will warm you up from top to toe, or you can do something like squats that will engage your glutes and quad muscles. Then you can also do some lunges to give your legs and hips a good warm up. Do these and any others you can think of and you’ll be fully prepared and warmed up for your run.
Don’t Forget To Cool Down
You’ve finished running for the day and you’re feeling fantastic. Those tips to warm up before your run helped you get through the distance with ease. Don’t forget to cool down. It only takes minutes to do a few cool down stretches and they are just as important as the warm-ups. You don’t want your worked muscles tightening up after all your hard work.