STRETCHING AND/OR WARMUP

(Also known as injury prevention and slowing down your body’s natural response to exercise)

I can not stress enough how important it is to prepare your body for a workout or an activity of any kind. The human body was made to do a different range of motions while doing a repetitive task. Our bodies are born multitaskers. We scavenged with arms and our legs. We hunted with our arms and our legs. We run with arms and our legs. Our whole bodies are called upon to propel ourselves against gravity. It takes a lot of force for the few milliseconds you’ll be flying in, even if it is slow.
It is entirely up to you when you choose to stretch. There are conflicting studies on when is the more appropriate time.:
I know runners who do either or both or some who do not stretch at all. The trick is experiment and finding what is right for YOUR body.
****Always use your own body as a guide – what feels good.**** I think this is important for all things you do physically.

Here are a few basic stretches (click the picture for a larger readable version).

Most important here would be the wear and tear you knees and joints might take depending on you own stance, the way you run, and your running shoes. Here are some additional knee strengthening stretches you can do for that (I come from a reference of having been injured and the best way to prevent injury is to be two steps ahead of it).
You don’t do all of them and not every time you run. Pick and choose from the menu above, depending on how you feel. Don’t go crazy, unless you’re feeling crazy.
Then run on the spot a little bit or a few jumping jacks and your ready to go for your warm up which is included in your run.

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