As a novice runner one is more likely to suffer injuries when running. Knees, hips, feet are all easy targets in beginners, as they do not have the experience of holding the right running form throughout a run. So running is a case practice makes perfect. In the meantime, you can do well to keep your muscles prepped for running.

It’s essential to look into some basic exercises to make sure that you are injury proof. As invincible as you may seem to yourself, there’s no harm in a little precaution. We’ve already told you about the secrets to beating the runner’s knee, the most common injury these days. The second most injury-prone area would be the foot. As the part of your body that absorbs the most weight and pressure while running, your feet are an anatomical wonder, but that does not mean you can take their fitness for granted.

Don't take your feet for granted
Don’t take your feet for granted

With a few simple exercises your feet will be safe from Achilles tendinitis or plantar fasciitis, the most chronic foot injuries, and go from injury-prone to injury-proof.

Calf Drops
Stand on a step with forefeet on the edge. Push up with both feet into a calf raise. Lift one leg off the step and lower your other leg so that your heel drops below the step. Take up to 10 seconds to lower it. Return to start; repeat 10 times on each foot.

You will feel the hamstring, calf and ankle muscles being strained and worked out. This is an excellent post-run exercise.

Seated Arch Stretch
Grab your toes and gently pull them back, stretching the plantar fascia. Hold for 10 counts and repeat 10 times, before switching feet. This is a crucial post-run stretch.

Heel Toe Walk
Walk on your heels for a minute, then your toes. Do this twice. Your feet are a network of muscles and it’s important to exercise all of it to maintain the great flexibility they offer.

Walk on your toes to strengthen your feet muscles
Walk on your toes to strengthen your feet muscles (Image: Pop Sugar)

Foot Taps
Sit with your feet flat on the floor and tap each foot 50 times. Try to keep your heels down. If you are sharp, you would notice how this mimics the running landing action.

Toe “Spelling
Elevate one foot; write the alphabet with your toes, and feel your ankle flex; Remember to switch feet at Z.

These may seem like really easy and non-strenuous exercises, but trust us when we say that your feet need all the protection and strength they can get. For improved longevity, it’s vital to take care of them. Run right and religiously do the stretches and you’ll be running a long, long time.

Become a wiser, injury-free runner by signing up for FirstRun’s on-demand injury prevention and management service RunDoctor. To know more, click here.

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