An amped-up exercise regimen means a greater possible risk of injury if you don't also amp up your workout preparation. Fitness expert Andrea Orbeck teams up with Heidi to demonstrate a few key stretches to help prevent shin splints and knee pain, common effects of intense running without proper warm-up.
Shin Splint Saver
Strong, flexible calves helps prevent shin splints. Keeping this in mind, stand up straight with legs shoulder-width apart and lift up on your toes, holding for a few seconds before lowering your toes to the ground again. Repeat this 20-30 times right before your run for increased stability and greater flexibility.
Toe Point Stretch
Knee pain is often caused from weak shin strength. By warming up your shins, you'll be able to absorb more impact during your run, decreasing the risk of knee pain later. Sit up straight on a mat with one leg stretched out before you and slowly point and flex your toe. Heidi suggests gently pushing down on your foot with your other foot for a deeper stretch.
The Right Shoe
By choosing a shoe with good arch support and thick soles, you insure a smoother run. Heidi recommends that you figure out your sore spots by rolling your foot over a tennis or golf ball while standing. For Andrea's tips on choosing the best fitness shoe for you, click here.
Sometimes a little R&R is all you need to get your body back up to speed after exercising. If you feel pain, take a day off and you'll be back on the trails in no time!