There is nothing worse than getting into your fitness routine only to be hindered by an injury. One of the most common injuries is shin splints. Here are three ways to prevent this injury from sneaking up on you:

1. Run on softer surfaces.

Running on hard surfaces, including concrete, increase the impact on muscles, joints and bones. When you have the option to run on grass or dirt trails, especially for longer runs, take advantage of it!

2. Take time to rest.

If you notice any pain in your shins, listen to your body and rest. It’s likely your body telling you that it needs to recover. Even if you’re an experienced runner, taking a few days off each week reduces your risk of shin splints and other overuse injuries. You can also find ways to cross train by biking, swimming or lifting weights.

3. Stretch your calves.

Before and after a workout, make sure you stretch your calves. If your calves are really tight, consider buying a foam roller to work through any knots. If your budget allows, you could also treat yourself to a professional massage.