Running is one of the best calorie burners in the realm of exercise. It gets your heart beating fast and gets your body moving. However, it is also very common to get injured running. A frequent complaint among runners, especially those who have just started running after a break or are just beginning, are shin splints. Shin splints occur when the muscles and tendons in the lower leg cause stress and trauma to the tibia bone after extensive running, overuse or exercising on hard surfaces. Here are some tips on how to avoid painful shin splints:
1. Make sure you are running in good shoes. No matter what type of feet you have, if your shoes are old or not supporting your arch the right way, shin splints are inevitable.
2. Always try to warm up your leg muscles a bit before running. This can be done by a light jog or brisk walk for five minutes before your run. Getting blood flow to your legs will help decrease the impact from running.
3. Stretch! If you want to stretch before a run, make sure to do it after a light warm up. The most important time to stretch is after your run. Your muscles are nice and warm, but by stopping quickly after running, your muscles can tighten up quickly.
4. Strengthening your calve muscle and the muscles in front of your leg. You can do this by doing calve raises on stairs. To strengthen the muscles in the front of your lower leg, have a friend hold down your feet and then lift your toes into the air against this resistance
5. Be sure to minimize impact on your legs as much as you can. If you have the option to do your long runs on a surface other than concrete, try to do that. Asphalt is even a better option than concrete. Also, don't increase mileage too fast, and be sure to do cross-training on your days off of running. Mixing up how you use your leg muscles will help increase strength overall.