Stretching is one of the fitness steps that many people usually forget or choose to skip before running or workout. However, you would add it to your daily running routine immediately if you know what benefits it might bring to your health. Also, Running is a very physically demanding sport. If runners would like to enjoy this activity for a long time, stretching is a critical component for their routine. Here are some benefits of stretches before running you should know:
Benefits of stretches before running
To Reduce your risk of injury.
Warming up before running can help to decrease the risk of injury, especially low back pain, and stretching is the necessary step regularly included in warming-up or cooling-down exercises. It warms up your muscles, joints, tendons, etc. The flexibility in the hamstring, hip flexors, and muscles is not only great for injury prevention but also helps to promote better performances.
To Promote circulation.
Stretching helps increase the body’s natural muscular contraction and relaxation to promote circulation through your entire body. When you are stretching, your body’s temperature increases. Also, your body will provide more oxygen and other nutrients to the working muscles.
To increase your flexibility
Stretching decreases muscle stiffness and improves the range of motion, which might slow the degenerations of your joints.
Get the fresh oxygen flow.
Your joints might lead to serious injury if your oxygen flow cannot work smoothly. You can feel pain, and aches during exercise when your whole body is not receiving enough oxygenated blood. Therefore, stretching supports the flow of fresh oxygen through your bloodstream to the rest of the body, which helps reduce fatigue and pain.
Improve the posture.
Your posture can get better during stretches. As you perform stretching, it strengthens your muscles, making them do their jobs again. As a result, your posture is going to improve well.
Helping manage and reduce stress.
Apart from physical health benefits, stretching also does give a boost to mental health. Stress can turn muscles to become tense, leading to discomfort and chronic pain while working out. Well-stretched muscles can hold less tension when it helps reserve the cycle of strain, tightening, and pain. Also, stretching before running is good for serotonin levels - the hormone that balances our mood, reduces stress, and overall makes us feel great.
Types of Stretching
There are four main type of stretches included:
Static stretching is a traditional stretching method. In this method, you stand, sit or lie still and hold a single position for a period of time, up to about 45 seconds.
Unlike traditional stretching, dynamic stretches are active movements that increase a full range of motion going through muscles and joints. This stretching method can be used to warm up your body before or during exercises.
Passive stretching is a type of stretching where you stay in one position in a set time, up to about one minute. You can do passive stretches with a partner, accessory, or prop intensifies by putting external pressure on your body. Passive stretching can be used during and after a workout.
Active stretching is a method for improving flexibility. It involves stretching actively on your own by contracting your muscles with no external force. Active stretching is a familiar stretching type in yoga, and this method often is used after a workout.
How to do stretching safely
Stretching is a set of simple movements that might be forgotten, but it does not mean that there are no notices while doing this exercise method.
- Feel no pain.
Stretches never point to pain. If stretches hurt, you should stop immediately, then reset your position carefully and try again.
- Your body’s temperature.
It is important to be sure that your body is not completely cold before warming up. You should shake your body out a bit to get some warmth generated through your lower limbs before stretching.
Breathing comfortably or using yoga breath can help you stretch more enjoyable and easier.
You also need to notice a set of times if it is at least 45 seconds for static stretches and one minute for each movement of passive stretches. Furthermore, giving your body time to accept the length is a principal component.
- Practice often.
Regular stretches can bring a great deal of advantages for both your physical and mental health. You should try to do stretches twice or three times a week at the very least.
Stretching routine for runners
Running is one of the high impact activities. Runners easily get a serious injury to muscle if they skip stretches or do not stretch carefully before running. It is necessary to stretch after running as well.
- Supine hamstring stretch
- Lie down on the ground with your back flat and your knees on the ground, knee bent.
- Pull your right knee toward to your chest slowly
- Stretch the leg while keeping the knee slightly bent.
- Stay in this position for 10 seconds and work up to 30 seconds.
- Repeat the sequence 4 times
- Side lunge
- Stand upright, with both feet facing forward, double shoulders-width apart.
- Place your hands on your hips and thigh, in order to keep your back straight.
- Taking your knee of the bent leg over your toes.
- Hold for ten seconds, then back to the original position. Rest for 10 seconds on the other side.
- Repeat the sequence 5 times.
Running is a lot of fun, highly beneficial activity that can change the lifestyle of many people who want to promote better health and well-being. To get a safe and productive approach to running style, runners should use proper stretch as a part of their daily running schedule. Adding stretching exercises into your daily running routine to make your workout more easier and better.