Running is a vigorous form of exercise that is tough on your whole body. The best way to stay the course is to protect your body from injury. The footwear you choose and your training schedule can put you at risk for injury but forgetting the importance of stretching can also have an impact.
While it is important to ease into a run, the best kinds of bulk of the stretching you do should be done after you have finished. Your body becomes tense as you run and your muscles contract or shorten. Stretching after allows them to lengthen and return to normal. Stretching helps increase your flexibility, promotes healing and recovery and reduces the effects that lactic acid build-up can have on your body.
After running, it is best to do static stretches where the stretch is held in a certain position for 30 seconds or longer. Here are a few examples:
- Hold onto a wall and bring the heel of one leg towards your buttocks. Keep your back straight and hold the stretch for 30 seconds. Repeat with the other leg. This will stretch your quadriceps.
- Lie on your back with both feet flat on the floor. Bring one knee to your chest and extend it up while holding on to the back of your calf. Lower the leg to your chest slowly as you exhale and repeat with the other leg. This will stretch your hamstrings.
- Place the balls of your feet on the edge of a stair and slowly lower your heels below the edge to stretch your calves.
If you are experiencing any lower extremity pain during or after a run, please call Dr. Hal Abrahamson for diagnosis and treatment. There may be something serious going on that could impact your foot health and future as a runner. Make an appointment at our podiatric office by contacting us at one of our three convenient locations in New York at (718) 896-4433.
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