THE BENEFITS AND EFFECTS OF YOGA FOR RUNNERS
Effects of Yoga on Runners
Yoga is suitable for every body type. It can be started at any age regardless of physical condition, and those who are the stiffest have the most to gain. Runners, specifically, have a tremendous amount to gain from adding yoga to their fitness regimens.
Running can lead to injury because of its repetitive nature and the resulting musculoskeletal imbalances. On a physical level, yoga restores balance and symmetry to the body, making it the perfect complement to running. Runners are often drawn to yoga to deal with specific issues, such as improving flexibility or helping with an injury.
Flexibility Many runners cite greater flexibility as the number one reason for beginning a yoga practice. This is a good reason, because yoga stretches the muscles that are tight, which in turn increases the range of motion in related joints. Increased flexibility decreases stiffness, results in greater ease of movement, and reduces many nagging aches and pains.
Strength Strengthening the upper body and core helps improve posture during daily activities and also while running. Moreover, a strong core allows the arms and legs to move more efficiently, creating better overall form, less fatigue, less weight impact on the legs, and a reduced risk of injury. A strong core creates a strong runner!Yoga helps shape long, lean muscles that do not hinder free range of movement in joints.
Biomechanical Balance Overusing some muscles while underusing others creates muscular imbalances, which affect the entire musculoskeletal balance and impairs
biomechanical efficiency. For runners, biomechanical imbalances eventually lead to pain and injury.
Mind, Body Connection Yoga provides a workout that includes both body and mind. Understanding the way that our body communicates with us with help us give our body what it needs such as recognizing when it is hungry, needing hydration or food and when it needs rest. Yoga is also a practice of intention and gratitude.
An Energized Body Many forms of exercise deplete the body of its energy stores. Yet a yoga practice oxygenates the blood and creates more energy, leaving the body and mind feeling restored and energized. Yoga provides a vehicle through which the body can actively recover from the physical demands of running. Understanding how our energy woks helps us maximize our energy usage.Improved Breathing Lung capacity is of prime importance for runners, because it creates the ability to maintain an even breathing pattern through all phases of running. The better the lung capacity is, the more oxygen is circulated through the system, which is most helpful for running long and strong. Improper breathing can cause the body to enter into stress mode which can have a negative impact on the body.