How Yoga Benefits RunnersNo matter the reason for running, runners are always looking for the best ways to increase their running capabilities. One of the newest, but hugely beneficial practices for runners to incorporate into their training is yoga. Orthopedic surgeons at St. Joseph’s Hospital Orthopedic Center describe how yoga provides a large variety of physical benefits, as well as emotional and mental benefits too, some of which include increased flexibility, endurance and balance, a well as an increase in the ability to monitor and regulate one’s stress response.
To improve flexibility, endurance, balance, and coordination. Yoga removes any mental stresses that a client may have. Yoga helps runners relax and become more self-aware. Here are some benefits of yoga for runners on a physical, mental, and emotional level:
The Physical Benefits
Yoga helps runners correct
muscle imbalances. When training strenuously, runners need muscles to be
balanced to avoid strain and injury. This helps the body handle more stress and
relieves the body of chronic pain. Pranayama increase your oxygen capacity.
Most people never use the full capacity of our lungs, but yoga helps us focus on breathing deeply. Deeper breathing helps the runner to have oxygen-rich blood; oxygen-rich blood helps to runners to build endurance and increase their overall performance
After a long run, stretching is recommended to relieve muscle stiffness. Yoga is a great way to stretch, tone the body, and increase circulation. Yoga also helps runners to maintain strength and flexibility.
Experts recommend yoga for
a warm-up before a run. Yoga can also help runners conserve their energy during
a run by helping to increase lung capacity and helping the body to operate more
efficiently. Regular yoga also reduces the chance of injury.
There are several different types of yoga breathing techniques that can help runners improve concentration and breathing. Alom Vilom and Yogic Deep Breathing soothes the nerves and increases lung capacity. Kapalabhati helps to flush the stale air from the lungs, and this also helps to increase the concentration. Ujjayi pranayama helps to establish breathing rhythms and increase the capacity of the lungs.
The Mental and Emotional Benefits
Yoga helps runners both
mentally and emotionally by helping
people to relax and concentrate better. Breathing asanas and pranayama helps to balance the body's
nervous system and provides relaxation after running. The practice calms the
body and provides a sense of stability.
Yoga should be used to recover energy and poise through breathing. Self-awareness is also increased through yoga. Yoga is especially useful for marathon runners. Yoga helps you to focus on your body and breathing during the run rather than worrying about the distance left or the outcome of the race.
Runners benefit significantly from yoga. This is an incredible practice that will help to build endurance for long distance runs, as well as flexibility and overall strength. Consider how yoga can benefit you as a runner; both yoga and running will increase bone density, which is essential to joint health in every individual.
Carolyn is a 20-something year old with a passion for life, fitness and overall well-being. She is an avid cycler, golfer and has known to bust some serious moves on the dance floor. Check out Carolyn’s blog at http://fullonfit.blogspot.com/!