I (JenReviews) do yoga, and I run.
I am well familiar with the tight hamstrings, quads and hip flexors that come with hitting the road for long and frequently. But, I love the feeling of the wind gently slapping my face from the opposite direction, my heart beating and sweat trickling down my spine.
Similarly, I cherish moments spent on my yoga. I wouldn’t trade both experiences or give up one for the other.
Both exercises come together in a way that informs each other to promote healing and performance. Running helps me to build endurance and agility. It also improves my cardiovascular fitness which comes in handy in my yoga practice.
Yoga, on the other hand, increases my lung capacity, teaches me how to breathe, raises my awareness of my body and improves my flexibility- which informs and enhances my running experience.
Common challenges experienced by runners
Running is an excellent fitness option whether you want to lose weight, compete in a marathon, keep fit or unwind. However, when done over a period of time and frequently it can leave you feeling sore on your feet and cause tight hamstrings, quads and, gluteus muscles. Many runners report having experienced injuries at one time or another ranging from knee injuries, falls to sprained ankles. Incorporating yoga in your fitness offers you numerous benefits.
Benefits of yoga for runners
- Improves flexibility
Running causes your muscles to tighten, restricting your range of motion. Yoga stretches the tensed muscles allowing them to resume optimal functioning such that they can contract and lengthen as needed.
- Promotes recovery
Running is physically taxing on the body. It depletes your energy stores and may lead to accumulation of lactic acid – leaving you sore, tight and tired. Yoga works all the body systems including the respiratory system, cardiovascular system, endocrine system and skeletal muscles. This, and the sequential contracting and lengthening of muscles as well as an emphasis on breathing, work together to promote blood circulation, oxygenate the cells and calm down the nervous system. You are left feeling energized and restored.