USE YOGA TO INCREASE YOUR RUNNING POWER
USE YOGA TO INCREASE YOUR RUNNING POWER How many of us are guilty of bypassing stretching before or after a run, or at least not doing as much as we know we should? Incorporating a regular yoga practice into your life as a runner has more benefits than you might first think, in fact, yoga and running are very good friends even if touching your toes feels like a mountain too far to climb. Gaining strength, flexibility, reducing the risk of injury, learning how to breathe and improving your overall running performance are all reasons to integrate yoga into your routine. So why should we kick off the trainers and make our way to the mat? 1. StrengthRunning is a repetitive movement which strengthens only certain muscles. Without any opposing movement the muscles used become short and tight as the rest of the body tries to compensate putting extra stress on the skeletal system. A well rounded yoga practice can offset the one dimensional system of running by building strength in the underused supporting muscle groups, the core and the stabilising system which results in better posture and all over longer leaner healthier muscles. Yoga also supports the high impact nature of running by strengthening the muscles around the venerable ligaments, such as those in the knees, which are prone to overuse and damage which will ultimately give your running life longevity. 2. FlexibilityIt is no secret that yoga increases flexibility. How this benefits your running performance is in the way yoga teaches us to elongate the spine and move in better alignment. As the body learns to balance and support itself your running technique will improve, the faster you will go, the longer you will be able to endure and the less injuries you will incur as posture is the foundation for efficient running technique. 3. Breathing
Breathing is a fundamental principal of yoga and lung capacity is important for runners too. Yoga postures will create flexibility around the lungs and will teach you how to utilise your breath efficiently. These skills will send more oxygen to your muscles and keeps you rooted in deep breathing all resulting in covering a greater distance with ease. 4. Stress reductionOn our mat we learn how to control emotions and how to stay with sensations when they feel uncomfortable. These moments on the mat are akin to the challenging moments in a long distance run. Using these moment on the mat to practice how to respond instead of react can be a wonderful training ground for your running performance, keeping you focused when things get tough.
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