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With Spring just around the corner, it is time to start warming up to your health and wellness routine.  It can be hard to get back into your routine, especially with the lockdowns and cold weather that has been demotivating us and got us off track.  Not only is running and walking outside great for your body to get you into shape and get you moving, but it’s also such a huge benefit to your mental health as well, which let’s face it, we could all use a boost in that area.

Now is a great transitionary time to start preparing for your active outdoor running or walking routines, and that’s where we come in.  You want to take it nice and easy while getting your body acclimated to a more strenuous form of movement and stretching and strengthening your ankles and toes can have major benefits that will help you avoid injuries, further delaying your outdoor routines.  

With that being said, here are some great exercises to begin preparing your body to get back to pounding the pavement, going on that hike, or whatever your health and wellness plans are for yourself.

EXERCISES THAT WILL HELP

LATERAL WALK

Although this exercise may look a bit strange, Lateral Walks are the perfect way to strengthen and improve stability in your hips and knee joints.  Doing this exercise BEFORE you do your health and wellness routine can improve foot, hip, and ankle stability, which are all important factors for your run!

Instructions: 

  1. Keeping the band flat, palace the band just above each ankle and wrapped around both legs.
  2. Position your feet shoulder-width apart and bend your knees slightly into a half-squat position.
  3. While remaining in this position, begin side-stepping (almost like a crab walk), while keeping the band taut.

Perform this exercise for 3 Sets of 10 Repetitions.

STRAIGHT LEG RAISE w/ HOLD

Straight Leg Raises with Hold is one of the best exercises you can do to strengthen your knees and get rid of nagging pain that hinders your movement.

Instructions:

  1. Lie on your back on the floor with your hips square and your legs laid out comfortably in front of you.
  2. Bend the opposite leg at a 90-degree angle, planting your foot firmly on the floor to stabilize yourself.
  3. Slowly inhale, lift your straight leg six inches off the ground and hold for 3 seconds.
  4. Now exhale slowly while lowering your leg back to the floor.

Perform this exercise for 3 sets of 10 repetitions. 

KNEE DRIVE w/ BAND

 With this exercise, you will increase the strength in your hip flexors and hamstrings.  Strengthening these two muscles and teaching them how to work together will also increase the speed at which you run.  Banded Knee Drives also help strengthen your core and train your body to remain stable while you are running.

Instructions: 

  1. Standing upright with your hands anchored against a wall for support, plant your foot on one side of the band while looping it over your other.
  2. With the foot you have the band looped around, drive your knee upwards towards the wall.

Perform this exercise for 3 sets of 10 Repetitions.

Our goal is to not only get you back in shape (whatever that means for you) but also take care of the surrounding factors that can impact your success on your journey.  If you are not sure where you are on your journey, or not sure how to get to your end goal, we can help guide you there with your current lifestyle in mind.

Let’s get you moving!