If you’re anything like me, when you’re ready to run, you don’t want to waste any time. You’ve blocked just enough time to squeeze your run in between busy schedules, dinners, kids and meetings. I know the last thing that you feel is important is to fit in that 5 minute warm-up and cool-down. What will it hurt to skimp out on the stretching? Well, I thought the exact same thing when I was training for the Disney Wine and Dine Half marathon last year. I had such a tight schedule with work that getting in 3 solid training days a week was tough and the last thing I had time for was stretching for 5 minutes. So surprise, surprise…I strained my hip flexor 3 months before the race. I worked with a physical therapist who helped me through the injury and re-trained my brain about the importance of good stretching with training. So my blog title is “Why Down-Dog Should Be In Every Runner’s Routine.” Here’s what I want to tell you: Every yoga enthusiast knows how important Down-Dog is to the body…but do RUNNERS? Not to say every runner should be able to perform inversion poses like a yogi, but Down-ward Facing Dog stretches every muscle that is important to runners…calves, hamstrings, spine and shoulders. When performed correctly, it strengthens muscles, increases full-body circulation, and reduces your risk of injury when you’re putting in those longer miles for training. So take the time to perform stretching exercises during your training! Incorporate Down-Dog into your cool down and take a moment to enjoy how good it feels to stretch after your run. You may notice that aggrevating pain in the bottom of your heel will start to go away, or that persistent Achilles tendinitis slowly resolving once you get in the habit of Down-Dog. If your pain persists though, call Advanced Podiatry at 813-875-0555 and we can help identify the problem and resolve it!