There isn’t an exercise program that can beat aquatic exercise (deep and shallow) for rehab of the legs. Aquatic exercise is an extremely under-utilized program. Maybe this is because so few fitness instructors understand the medium and application of water properties in an exercise program?
I have taken pro and college athletes into the water for challenging workouts. It isn’t just for the injured and elderly. If any of you make it to the Big Island of Hawaii, you should check out my website and get in touch with me. I will gladly take you into the ocean or the Kona pool and open your eyes about aquatic exercise.
In addition to the other answers I would add shoes that are fitted for running. Usually running shoes are 1 size larger than your other regular shoes. Buying the right shoes can fix many problems associated with running and can even improve your overall performance. If you need help with choosing the right shoe, it’s best to visit one of the running stores close to you such as Fleet Feet, Dick’s and/or other similar ones.
I think that what many of the excellent answers are addressing is minimizing the stress on the anterior compartment in the lower leg. Ankle rolls before the workout, dorsi flexion stretches following the workout and dorsi flexion against resistance (theraband) are perhaps the best ways to reduce the risk of so-called “shin splints.”