Running is a popular and effective form of aerobic exercise that offers numerous physical, mental, and emotional benefits. It’s a versatile activity that can be tailored to different fitness levels, goals, and preferences. Running is a popular aerobic exercise that can be enjoyed during the whole year! However, knowing the difference between dynamic and static stretching is important before you get started.
Here are important considerations to ensure a safe and enjoyable running experience:
Staying hydrated is crucial in all seasons, but especially in hot weather. Drink water before, during, and after your run. When it is quite warm, carry a water bottle with you or plan your route near water sources.
When it is hot outside, try to run during the cooler parts of the day, such as early morning or late evening, to avoid the peak heat. When the weather gets cooler, try to run during daylight hours and as the day warms up (depending on your comfort level).
Wear sunscreen to protect your skin from harmful UV rays during all seasons! Even on cool, fall days, the UV can reach high levels. Consider wearing a hat and sunglasses to shield your face and eyes from the sun.
Choose lightweight, breathable, and moisture-wicking clothing that helps sweat evaporate. Light-colored clothing can also help reflect sunlight and keep you cooler for the warm seasons.
Warm-Up and Cool-Down:
Even in warm weather, it’s important to warm up your muscles before running and cool down afterward. This helps prevent injuries and gradually brings your heart rate back to normal.
Dynamic Warm-up vs. Static Stretching:
Many experts now advocate for dynamic warm-up exercises before running. These exercises involve active movements that mimic the actions you’ll be performing during your run. Dynamic warm-ups can help increase blood flow, activate muscles, and improve joint mobility without the risk of overstretching cold muscles.
Static stretching, where you hold a stretch for an extended period, was once considered essential before exercise. However, more recent research suggests that static stretching before vigorous activity might actually decrease muscle power and performance temporarily. It could potentially lead to a decrease in running efficiency and increase the risk of injury, especially if not done correctly or if the muscles are cold. This type of stretching should be reserved for after exercise to promote relaxation and cool down
In conclusion, the importance of stretching before running has shifted towards dynamic warm-ups and mobility exercises that prepare your body for the specific movements of running. It’s best to avoid static stretching immediately before running and instead focus on activities that enhance circulation and joint mobility. However, stretching and flexibility work still have a role in a comprehensive fitness routine when done at appropriate times, such as after your run or during separate flexibility-focused sessions. If you have questions about your stretching routine or running performance our healthcare providers are happy to help! You can book an appointment online at curavita.com or call our clinics. The Glebe Clinic can be reached at 613-237-2395, and our Byward Clinic can be reached at 613-860-8600.