It’s no surprise why the fitness-obsessed embrace cardio as part of their training. Cardio can strengthen your heart, lungs, and various muscles throughout the body. It’s a great way to stay in shape and even reduce your stress levels and depression.

Despite all of these health benefits, it’s important to prepare your body before your feet hit the pavement.

Running Can Be Sort Of Rough

Some people cringe at the thought of running a marathon, and they sort of have a point. It’s hard work. It takes seriously stamina, and it puts some serious strain on some of your joints and muscles.

Running—whether you prefer the treadmill or the open road—can put some pressure on your joints, especially in your feet. Making it super important to train even the smallest joints and muscles in order to get the most of your running routine.

Foot Injuries Can Creep Up On You

If you are interested in becoming an avid runner, it’s important to understand that proper training will keep injuries at bay.

Your training routine doesn’t have to be exquisite, and it doesn’t even require that you break a sweat.

A Good Stretch Can Prevent Aches And Pains

Want to save yourself from a visit to the podiatrist? It’s time to get stretching. There are easy and effective exercises you can do at home to strengthen your feet and get you ready to run.

Practicing the big toe extension lunge can strengthen your entire foot, and it doesn’t require any equipment. All you need to do is stand with your big toe against a wall, with the toe angled towards the ceiling. Lunge forward so that your knee is close to the wall. Straighten out your leg to the starting position, with your big toe still angled upward. Repeat this a total of 14 times, and then switch feet.

Preventing tightness in your calves is possible with the gastroc and soleus foam rolling exercise. Start by taking a foam roller and placing it underneath your calf while sitting. Make sure the roller is positioned directly below your knee. Put your hands on the ground a little outside your hips. Put pressure on your hands to lift your butt up, making sure your calf is balanced on the roller. Repeat this exercise ten times. Switch to the opposite leg.

Easing into a running routine doesn’t have to be painful, and these simple exercises assure that you won’t be in pain after hitting the pavement!