Whether you're an outdoor runner like myself, or someone new to fitness , the last thing you want to do is get hurt while you're working out. The best way to prevent injuries is to ditch your usual pre-workout stretch, and take things to the next level with a dynamic warmup.
Stretching while the body is cold (has not been moving) is a terrible idea. Warming the body up with some light cardio or dynamic movements, prior to exercise is much more effective. In fact, unless you're nursing a injury or have been told otherwise by your doctor, static stretching (bend over and grab your toes) is simply bad idea.
Stretching cold muscles and connective tissues can lead to injury. Keep in mind that your body is a lot like a car (or a minivan) when it comes to movement. The more you warm it up, the better it operates.
Lastly, your body contains a lubricant called Synovial Fluid. Synovial Fluid sit in your joints (just like a car has oil that sits at the ready, to ensure that all of its components operate effectively) and when gently heated up prior to rigorous movement, will help prevent injury and ensure optimal performance.
So lets put an end to primitive, injury conducive, stretching. Know better, live better and perform better with more dynamic, injury preventive warmups :)