Yoga for Runners
Most athletes that have a great dedication to their respective fields would always try to find different ways to improve their physical abilities in order to perform better and avoid injuries. For runners, yoga can be an excellent alternative to achieve this. The proper practice of yoga will make runners healthier and stronger to strike longer distance by the implementation of its breathing technique. There are so many great benefits offered by yoga for runners which will lead to better performance.
Increase Range of Motion
Flexibility is one of the main objectives in practicing yoga. Having strong muscles is what every athlete dreams of, but strong muscles won't do any good without flexibility. In order to maximize the capabilities, your muscles should also be flexible. The balance between strong and flexible muscles could boost your overall performance. You can jump higher, reach further, and for runners this would increase range of motion which will make you able to run much faster.
Improve Mental Focus
Yoga involves gentle physical exercises, meditation and breathing technique. So besides giving a good impact on the body, yoga would also help the mind to relax and focus better. Proper meditation will bring out your sensitivity and make it possible for your mind to 'communicate' with your body. A human body often send signals that indicates its needs, for example your body will give you a sign when it needs water or food by making you feel thirsty or hungry.
Everyday our body sends out many different signals that are sometimes hard to interpret without proper training, and yoga makes it possible for you to understand this. This gives you the chance to know your own body far better than before, which will lead to stronger mentality and better focus. Concentration and focus is the outcome you will achieve when your mind is fully trained to relax and to handle stress.
Improve Cardiovascular Strength
Yoga breathing techniques are very helpful for your cardiovascular system. The proper breathing technique practiced by yoga participants will help your body to relax even in the most stressful conditions. If you are able to exhale at higher rates, the oxygen flow in your body will also increase, and this will make your blood circulate better to all the muscles and joints which will increase your running power. This breathing technique can also strengthen your lungs, and help to avoid various deadly cardiovascular diseases.
(Especially on your knees and ankles)
Back and knee pain are probably two of the problems that most runners are afraid of, simply because these injuries can end the career of a runner. Yoga can help a runner to avoid these injuries and even helps to cure these injuries when they happen. Long distance running makes your feet work very hard. Every time your foot touches the ground it will feel the impact of three to four times of your body weight, so it's no wonder why runners are so susceptible to knee and back injuries.
Yoga is all about balance, balancing your body and mind, balancing your muscle strength and flexibility, also about finding your core in order to balance the upper body and the lower body. All of these balancing techniques will help runners to prevent injuries that could be harmful to their performance or even worse, if the injury is bad enough it could end a shining career of an athlete.
For serious runners, yoga is an excellent addition to their other physical exercises. So if you are really serious about your running career and you still want to run for years to come, then you should think about practicing yoga classes regularly.
- 12 Yoga Postures for Runners Video
- Here is a sequence of 12 yoga poses to balance and stretch you out before going for a run. Yoga can help to strengthen, stretch and lengthen our muscles to help reduce injury to the knees, hips, ankles or feet.
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