Learning how to prevent shin splints is possible through simple changes to your exercise habits. Many athletes of all fitness levels struggle with shin splints, pain along the front of the leg that is typically the result of too much pressure on the shinbone and surrounding tissue. Shin splints result in pain, soreness, and sometimes swelling along the leg. Knowing how to prevent shin splints can keep you healthy and pain-free throughout your workouts.
- Wear the right footwear. Shin splints are sometimes the result of working out in worn-out shoes or shoes that don't offer proper support. Buy good quality shoes that fit well and are designed for your type of workout. You should also be sure that your shoes provide enough arch support. Insoles can provide additional support tailored to your foot's unique shape. People with flat feet are especially prone to shin splints and should always be sure that they wear supportive shoes.
- Do preventative exercises. Toe raises can help strengthen your shins to prevent injury. Begin in a standing position, slowly rise up onto your toes, then lower back to the floor. Repeat ten times. If this is too easy, you can try the move while holding free weights. Performing leg presses or lunges to strengthen the leg muscles will also help prevent shin splints.
- Pace yourself. You're more likely to develop shin splints when running on uneven surfaces, on an incline, or stopping and starting frequently. Work at a level that's challenging, but not painful, and stop if you feel pain in your legs. Runners are more prone to injury than other athletes and are especially likely to get shin splints if they have not worked out for awhile. It is also important to always make time to warm up and cool down during your workouts. This will help prevent many types of injuries, including shin splints.