One way to prevent injuries is to warm up slowly. A good general warm-up increases your body temperature and lubricates the muscles, allowing them to contract and relax more efficiently. Some people choose to warm up by running slowly for the first few miles, and that is fine. However, if you’re planning to start off at a faster pace, or you are new to running such that a slow pace for several miles is challenging, a few minutes of dynamic stretching before your run is highly recommended.
Below are some ideas for dynamic stretches. Notice that each exercise involves movement as part of the stretch, as this helps muscles prepare for activity. We do not recommend static stretching prior to running (stretching and holding until the muscle relaxes) as the evidence suggests that this can reduce the muscle’s ability to fire during the run.
And yes, we know some of you won’t do all 8 of these exercises every time, but at least try a few! A couple minutes of warm-up can prevent you from being sidelined for weeks due to injury.