Whenever you do any kind of exercise it’s important to take the time to stretch out the muscles that you’re going to be using. Even though walking is an incredibly low impact exercise, it’s still important to get all stretched and warmed up before you go out to prevent any kinds of possible injuries. Let’s take a look at some good pre-walk stretches you can take advantage of as well as some more general tips for stretching before you walk.
1. Stretching your legs is important!
Making sure that your legs are properly stretched is one of the most important things you can do before any kind of distance exercise. You’re going to want to make sure you stretch out your hamstrings and your calves in particular and maybe even work up into a groin stretch and some leg swings. You’re going to want to make sure that your legs are limber and ready to go to prevent any strain or risk of cramps that may arise.
2. But don’t just stretch your legs!
Just like a balanced breakfast is most effective, balanced stretching is just as good to round out. Making sure that your back, arms, and neck are also properly stretched is super important because it helps to get your whole body ready for fitness. This is especially important if you’re going to use walking as a way to warm up into something more strenuous. Getting the general stretching out of the way before you walk saves time and just helps you to feel better on your walk.
3. Stretch to test for strain
Stretching isn’t just good for warming up, it’s also a good way to test strain on your body as well. If you notice a little bit of a pull or twinge while you’re stretching don’t ignore it, especially if you actually know for a fact you’ve injured yourself. A rolled or twisted ankle can become a more serious injury quickly even if you’re just performing a low impact exercise like walking. If you’re worried about making an injury worse or notice that their might be strain on your body it might be a good idea to take a day of rest or see a physician about it.
As a general rule of thumb, it’s a good idea to make sure that you’re fully stretched out before you head out on your next walk. When your limbs feel warm and responsive after stretching, you’re ready to head out and get on with your walk!