As you probably know, stretching is very important; especially in fitness and exercise. According to Livestrong.com stretching before physical activity reduces the risk of injury, improves your performance, and can reduce the soreness of muscles.
Warm up those muscles before you take off. It can prevent or reduce cramping and soreness, gets your blood flowing and your joints ready. Livestrong also stresses the importance of stretching properly. You never want to stretch cold muscles so it is ideal to stretch after you have warmed up for five to ten minutes. Hold stretches for 30-60 seconds, avoid bouncing, and stretch each side evenly.
Stretching not only benefit your fitness and exercise plan. Stretching daily can help with minor aches and pains and improve posture.
The following stretches are great for runners because they target the muscle groups that are used the most: calves, quadriceps, IT band, and hamstrings. Remember to try these stretches after you have warmed up, but before you go for a full on run!