If you’re a runner, you should be doing yoga. Here’s why.
Running is a popular form of exercise since it provides a great cardio workout and can be done from almost anywhere. If you’re a routine runner in search of a better way to stretch, strengthen, and prevent injury so you can improve your workout, you should definitely give yoga a try! Doing just 10 minutes of yoga before you run can really loosen your muscles while simultaneously building your overall strength. Essentially, yoga gives you everything that runners need to run greater distances and stay injury-free. Read the article below to find out how.
By Alison Heilig
2 words: Sun Salutations
Seriously, just a few minutes doing a simple yoga sequence is all you really need to get rolling and start feeling all the fabulous benefits of yoga. How can it be that simple, you ask?
When you run, here’s what primarily happens in your body:
1. Your quads and hamstrings move your knees
2. Your glutes and hip flexors move your hips
3. Your core muscles stabilize your hips and spine
4. Your lower leg muscles move your ankles and absorb impact
5. Your neck, shoulders and back subtly move your arms while limiting tension in your upper body
Now let’s break down your typical Sun Salutation, shall we? Surya Namaskar A is a sequence of poses that collectively serve the following functions:
1. Strengthening and stretching your quads and hamstrings
2. Strengthening and stretching your glutes and hip flexors
3. Strengthening and stretching your core
4. Strengthening and stretching your lower legs
5. Strengthening and relieving tension your neck, shoulders and back
Hmmm… that second list looks kinda familiar, doesn’t it? That’s right, the parts that keep you running are precisely the same parts where you build strength and provide some much needed TLC when you flow through a Sun Salutation. You just can’t find a better pairing – trust me, I’ve looked.
So if you’re looking for the perfect compliment to running, you can call off the search party now.
Need another reason to buy in? Yoga solves that age-old question of what the heck do I do right before and after my run? (to stretch or not to stretch) and it’s totally customizable depending on the runner.
Morning runner? Sun Salutations are a terrific dynamic warm-up that you can flow through to get your body primed before heading out.
Mid-day or evening runner? A few rounds of this sequence at a slow and steady pace is an awesome cool down to reset body and mind after your run.
Not a running day? So what?! Sun Salutations are a great way to get a quick strengthening + stretching practice in anywhere, anytime.
Included in this article is a video of the pre-run warm-up I use to get me all jazzed up to tackle those early morning miles. Do you have your own go-to yoga sequence that you swear by? Share it in the comments below so we can all give it a try!
Read the full article here.