TURKEY Warm-Up for Race Day

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November is here and so is the season for Turkey Trots. With large gatherings being limited, things might look a little different this year. But there are still plenty of ways to keep on trotting. Virtual races as well as neighborhood routes with your family are great options this fall. Whichever way you decide to participate and whether you are running or walking, it is always important to start with a warm-up to get your body ready for exercise, especially as temperatures begin to drop.

One of the most beneficial things to include in your warm-up is dynamic stretching. Dynamic stretches, as opposed to static or traditional stretching, not only warm up your muscles for exercise, but they also help gradually elevate your heart rate and promote increased blood flow to the muscles you’ll be using.

Aim for your warm-up to be about 10 minutes long. Plan a warm-up into your race day routine, arriving earlier if need be. Repeat each exercise for at least 30 seconds (some exercises like walking can be longer). Once your run or race is complete and you’ve slowed down to a slower walk for a few minutes, you can add in some static stretches to help relax your muscles and complete your cool-down process.

T: Torso Twist with a Lunge

Step forward with your right leg into a lunge. While holding the lunge, twist your torso to the right. Twist torso back to center and then step your right leg back to standing. Repeat on the opposite side by stepping your left leg forward into a lunge and then twisting your torso to the left.

U: Upbeat Walk

Briskly walk for a few minutes to wake up your muscles. If you’re tight on space, you can walk or jog in place.

R: Reverse Walk

Backpedal for several strides. Be sure to check behind you before starting so you don’t run into anyone or anything.

K: Keister Kickers and High Knees

Bend at the knee bringing your heel back towards your glutes. Repeat on other leg and then do several of these repetitions briskly. Follow these Keister Kickers with several repetitions of High Knees by marching in place while bringing your knees up to waist level with each march.

E: Extended Leg Swings

Start by standing on your left leg and extending your right leg in front of you, swing extended leg forward and back, starting with small swings and increasing to larger swings as tolerated. Next, swing extended leg from side to side. Repeat this on opposite side. To help with balance, you can hang on to something near you like a fence post or wall.

Y: “Y” Arms into Windmill

Start standing with feet together and arms above head in a “Y” position. Step your right leg out to the side and windmill down to reach for your right toes with your left hand. Return to standing and then repeat on the opposite side.

Always consult with your physician before starting a new exercise program.

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