Dynamic Duo - Stretching to Prevent Injuries and Exercising

Robert G. Parker
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Dr. Parker is a podiatrist and surgeon in Houston, TX who has been helping patients for more than 40 years.

Foot StretchesIf you are signed up to participate in the upcoming Glowing the Distance walk/run to support the end of child abuse, you might want to know a little more about stretching to prevent injuries to your body. You should always stretch out your muscles before doing any sort of physical activity, whether it is strenuous or not.

It’s important to know that you should never start a workout with “static” stretches, or the kind where you hold your stretch for a count. Cold muscles need to be warmed up before you exercise to get your heart pumping and your body ready. If you start with static stretches, you decrease your body’s power and ability to complete an effective workout. Instead, save them for your post-exercise routine.

Instead, jog slowly for five or so minutes, and then do what are known as “dynamic stretches.” These involve slow and controlled movements that get the muscles warm. You could try things like arm circles or hip rotations, but always make sure you are using proper form. Three very good dynamic stretches for the lower body are goose-step marching for the hamstrings, knee lifts, and butt kicks for the quadriceps. Another option is doing yoga before you exercise.

For more tips on stretching to prevent injuries, call Dr. Robert Parker at 281-497-2850 or schedule an appointment online. At Parker Foot & Ankle in Houston, we take preventing injury very seriously. We want to help keep your body, and especially your feet, in good, race-worthy condition.

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