For some reason, warming up and cooling down before and after a workout seems to be dreaded by the masses. We know you're excited to jump right in to the workout, but to prevent getting injured and to ensure that you're training at an optimal level, a proper warmup and cooldown is essential.

Before going on a run, you should do dynamic movements such as the calf stretch, thoracic spine rotation, and hamstring stretch to elevate your heart rate and get your muscles ready to work. After you've finished your run - no matter how far or how fast you went – you've got to make sure you treat your body with the same TLC and cool down properly. There isn't one perfect way to cool down, but here are some general guidelines you should follow after every run.

"People should cool down after a run, or exercise in general, because it helps to normalize your heart rate and blood pressure," Vinh Pham, DPT, founder of Myodetox and Asystem's director of recovery, told POPSUGAR. Cooling down also helps to regulate your breathing, blood flow, heart rate, and brings your body's temperature back to preexercise levels, which prevents you from feeling faint and getting sick, he explained.

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