Column by Rachel Grunwell: Marathoner, yoga teacher, Good magazine’s wellness columnist and professional blogger. Follow Rachel via Inspired Health’s Facebook  & Instagram for more tips, recipes & giveaways

Why You Should Stretch & How…

Runners are renowned for wanting to skip the ‘warm up’. I get that. All we want to do is lace up our shoes and pound the pavements – or trails – for training. The sooner we get that incredible fix of movement, escapism, freedom and that scientifically proven “runner’s high” the better.

But there’s good reason for warming up and warming down…

Firstly I recommend doing a dynamic warm up routine before you run. This could include controlled, smooth ‘walking lunges’ (10 times on each leg) and then ‘hamstring leg swings’ (10 each side too). Dynamic stretching means a stretch is performed by moving through a range of motion repeatedly and not holding a stretch for a long time. Why do this? This warms up the body to prepare it to move well and ultimately helps with your performance.

A lot of people avoid warming up because they’re impatient. But it’s worth taking just a few minutes of moving, dynamic stretches before a run. You will feel the difference. Your body will feel less tight and function better.

Now, I bet you’re keen to know why a ‘warm down’ is important? The idea behind stretching post-workout is to help lengthen your muscles out. A roller is an amazing self-massage tool for this too. I personally use one after every run.

If you want some step-by-step instructions for some warm down examples of ‘stretches for runners’, then you can find some on my blog.. Click HERE. X X


About Rachel Grunwell