Fit tip: Use Yoga to optimize your running performance…
Yoga For Runners – How Yoga Can Optimize Your Running Performance
By Milla Krogh
Yoga and running are most often thought of as two very different types of exercise, but the truth is that they are actually a very good match. The combination of running and yoga is a great way to increase your physical shape and your performance.If you combine your running routines with yoga exercises, you can improve your running performance and your well-being. Through yoga, you learn to control your breathing, which also optimizes your performance while running. Furthermore, yoga makes you more flexible and therefore more resistant to damages while running.
While running is a good cardio workout, then yoga is more directed at building strength and flexibility. However, you can easily get your pulse up during yoga by practicing some of the more dynamic yoga types, which will definitely allow you to work up a sweat. Many runners favour Astanga Yoga because of the dynamic movements that provide strength, flexibility and endurance.
During yoga practise there is a great focus on the breath and you will learn to control the breathing process. This will be of a great benefit while running, as control of the breath will help you improve your performance. What is helpful is that you increase your awareness on the breath, keeping a slow and steady pace. Yoga usually teaches you to breathe in through the nose while keeping your mouth closed. This allows you to deepen your breath all the way to the bottom of the lungs. This allows you to increase the transportation of oxygen to the muscles, where it becomes energy. Learning to breathe deeper also increases your lung capacity which will automatically increase your stamina.
Besides getting more flexible and acquiring a better breathing control, you will also train other muscles during yoga training, which will add to your running exercise. Runners often have a tendency to have tension in the shoulders and the neck, and these tensions will be loosened up during yoga practise. Besides tension relief, yoga also helps you prevent injuries and pain. Especially the knees, the hips and the back are sensitive areas where runners often experience problems. There are certain yoga positions that focusing directly on these sensitive areas, thus strengthening them and making them better shock absorbers. Furthermore, runners who also perform yoga, are more likely to experience less pain after running, which is also a great benefit.
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