Dynamic Stretching for Your Winter Run

As we head into the New Year health and fitness are at the top of many people’s minds. With Winter just under way temperatures are only going to get colder and for many runners and people looking to get exercise the weather does not keep them from running or walking outside in the frigid winter air. The dreaded treadmill run can only keep someone’s attention for so long. When exercising, individuals should do some form of stretching and warm up regardless of the temperature or the activity. With that being said, some warm-ups are better than others when preparing for a cold Winter run. Below is some information regarding Dynamic Stretching and why it is important before your exercise activity.

Dynamic Stretching

Dynamic Stretching isn’t the old gym class Static Stretching that we grew up with, you know, the stretching when you got in a circle with your classmates and held a stretch for 10-15 seconds. While there are benefits to static stretching Dynamic Stretching has become more and more popular in the world of kinesiology due to the fact it is beneficial to range of motion for everyday life as well as athletics. What is Dynamic Stretching? Dynamic Stretching is when an individual replicates actual motions that may be used in physical activity, for example,  a straight leg lateral swing, or a straight leg dead-lift. This form of stretching will increase range of motion, flexibility and blood flow, all of which will help maintain good running mechanics as well as muscle prepare muscles for your run or exercise activity, together this will all help prevent injury. When exercising in cold weather you muscles will lose heat, which in turn, leads to muscle contraction. This is why more muscle tightness may occur in the Winter months vs. those warm sunny months. With muscle tightness occurring more often in colder weather, range of motion is decreased and there is potential for damaging  tissue. Activating your muscles and increasing blood flow with Dynamic Stretching before your exercise will decrease the likelihood of experiencing muscle tightness and avoiding injury on your cold run.

In a day an age where everyone wants to have things done in a hurry, take an extra 5 to 10 minutes and be sure your body is warmed up for the exercise you are about to participate in. That 5 to 10 minutes of Dynamic Stretching before your run will help prevent injury and keep you physically able to enjoy your Winter run. Below are some tips to running in the Winter time as well as some examples of Dynamic Stretching. During these Winter months be safe and smart,  take a little extra time to properly warm up!

Additional information provided by Runners World: