tying up running shoe laces

Spring is here and it’s a great time to bring your exercise routine outside. One great way to get motivated and keep up with a program is to sign up for one of the many 5k races offered throughout the area. If you’re new to running or if you’re a little rusty after a long winter spent hibernating on the couch, take the time to loosen up before you head out with dynamic stretching, such as jogging in place.

“Dynamic stretching is ideal because it helps to circulate the blood flow before a run,” says Lisamarie Puglisi, PT, DPT, Cert. MDT, of Mather Hospital’s Outpatient Physical Therapy Department. An avid runner, Puglisi completed the Long Island Half-Marathon, competed in a number of 5ks and can often been seen in her neighborhood with a jogging stroller in tow.

Here are some examples of dynamic movement:



Puglisi says that it is most beneficial to focus on static stretches of the larger muscle groups after the run to avoid tightness. “This is when your muscles are most pliable and respond best to stretching,” she says, adding that you should not overstretch to the point of pain.

Here she demonstrates some static stretches:



The best thing about running is you can do it pretty much anywhere–on the treadmill in the gym, around your neighborhood or the track at the high school. If you like to train off the beaten path, check out these resources for trails in Suffolk County: Suffolk County Parks with Hiking Trails Suffolk County Hiking and Biking Trails