Since many of you have moved your walks and runs from sidewalks and trails to the treadmill, you have ended up with a case of shin splints. These occur when you overstress the muscles in your lower legs, causing small tears in the tissue. If you start to experience this pain, it's not a serious injury, but it is also nothing to be ignored. To heal the tears, it's best to lower the intensity of your run by walking instead, or add incline to the treadmill. If the pain is really bad, take a break from running and do some lower leg stretches and ice the area.
Since shin splints can happen when your calf muscles become stronger than the shin muscles, and a way to promote healing in the area, and to prevent shin splints in the first place, is to do some strengthening exercises. Heel walks are great, but to see one of my favorite exercises you can do while sitting read more.
- Sit on a high bench or chair. It should be tall enough so your toes can point without touching the floor.
- Place a two- to six-pound dumbbell vertically in between your feet, squeezing the weight gently to keep it in place.
- Begin by pointing your toes toward the floor. Then flex your feet and lift your toes as high as you can. This is one repetition.
- Complete three sets of 12 reps, stretching your shins with the Kneeling Shin Stretch in between each set.