Chief executive officers tend to be “get it done” type of people. That’s true for Lorraine Lutton, CEO and president of Roper St. Francis Healthcare, and a dedicated runner. “I like getting up early and getting my run in first thing,” she says.
Whether you’re a take-it-easy jogger or sub-eight-minute miler, running is a quick and efficient aerobic exercise that requires nothing more than a decent pair of running shoes. A run or a speed walk leaves you feeling great and energized, unless you get injured. Then you’re hobbled and frustrated.
“That’s why warming up and stretching both before and after is so important,” says Roper St. Francis trainer Eby Krawczyk. To help Lutton stay in top form as she prepares for her second Cooper River Bridge Run, Krawczyk suggested some dynamic stretching, or stretches that are incorporated into light movement emphasizing a range of motion, for a 10 to 15 minute warm-up; and then some static stretches, where the muscles are more isolated, after her morning jaunt.
Pre-run Warm Up Dynamic Stretches
These are active, with some light jogging or walking in between the stretching motions. Don’t over stretch – the idea is to get blood flowing and let muscles loosen up.
- Forward lunge with rotation of torso
- Lateral (sideways) lunge
- Skipping/high knees
- Knee hug
- Hip rotation
Post-run Warm Down Static Stretches:
Once your muscles and joints are warm and more flexible/pliable, these stretches will help reduce tightness and improve recovery, so you’ll feel good for your next run. Hold each for 10 to 15 seconds each, and repeat five times.
- Straight leg hamstring
- Bend knee hamstring
- Calf stretch
- Low back (rotate leg keeping shoulders on ground)
- Groin (butterfly, squat and press knees out with elbows)
Krawczyk is also a big fan of using foam rollers (or a tennis or golf ball if you don’t have a roller) to massage large muscles like the quads, calves and hip flexors (three minutes per body part). Stretch bands can help get fuller range of motion when stretching hamstrings, quadriceps and shoulders/deltoids as well.
“And remember, have fun! That’s what it’s all about,” says Krawczk. “Always listen to your body, if you feel like you need an extra recovery day, or more time stretching than running, then do it!”