Yoga and running might seem like two very different exercises, but that doesn’t mean we need to avoid one to do the rest. Research has shown that doing yoga kept runners injury-free. Running is a stressful activity, and over time can lead to improper alignment of joints, joint instability, or limited range of motion, which in turn will lead to injury. Runners often complain of pain in their feet, legs, knees and hamstrings. Why not? With the foot striking the ground approximately 1000 times in one mile, a runner is subjecting his lower body to immense stress while on a run.
Yoga is said to improve range of motion and stability, and in addition to this, yoga also helps improve stamina, flexibility and overall balance.
Here are the top reasons why a runner needs to include yoga as a part of his/her training regime.
Yoga helps build a stronger core
It’s no secret that every runner needs to have a strong core in order to run well. Yoga provides a way to build the strength of all the core muscles, which includes those that crunches do not affect.
Yoga improves joint stability and reduces soreness
Sore feet, sore calves, back pain, muscle tightness, or joint stiffness can all be solved with regular yoga. It’s interesting to note that all these aches and pains are a result of imbalances during running, and not running in itself. Yoga helps fix this.
Yoga improves balance
To enjoy good alignment and balance, yoga is a must-do if you’re a runner. There are certain poses that are meant to improve balance. These include- tree pose, warrior pose, mountain pose, dance pose.
Yoga improves breathing
15 minutes of breathing exercise daily is enough to improve your stamina! Yoga teaches you how to balance your breathing with your movements, and pranayama is often done to cure breathing ailments and illnesses. Constant practice of yoga will help improve balance which will give you better stamina.
Yoga helps improve stride length
Constant stretching will help in loosening the muscles which will lead to better joint mobility, thus leading to improved stride length. Ensure that your yoga asanas involve deep stretching! Loosen up your tight hips, glutes, quads, and hamstrings.
Yoga helps develop mental strength
This mental strength is put to test during challenging times, and yoga helps build focus that lets you carry on relentlessly even on longer runs. Yoga also helps deal with post-run fatigue and enables you to relax, unwind and calm down after a tiring run.
Here are some yoga poses that you can include in your routine, poses that will help you loosen out your tight joints while ensuring that you enjoy a full-body workout.
Best yoga poses to include in our routine
- Surya Namaskars
- Downward Dog
- Mountain Pose
- Warrior Pose
- Tree Pose
- Pigeon Pose
- Reclining Spinal Twist
- Legs up the wall pose
- Upward Dog
- Cobbler Pose