Yoga: Helping to Keep Runners Safe and Loose

by Jenny on December 21, 2012

As I travel back to Baltimore today, I have a guest post for you to enjoy from a fellow healthy living blogger!  Carolyn, from Full-On Fit, is here to share more benefits of yoga for runners.  I know just reading this makes me even more anxious get to get back to the yoga studio tomorrow morning! :)

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No matter why you choose to run – whether for fun, for exercise, because you’re on a team, to get involved in various marathons and other activities, etc., it’s always best to know different ways to stretch and improve your running potential. Yoga has been around for thousands of years, and although its popularity in the US is new, the runners that incorporate it into their regular routine will find themselves benefiting from it in many aspects of their lives.


(click image for source)

According to the orthopedic surgeons from St. Joseph’s Hospital Orthopedic Center, yoga can benefit people physically, mentally and emotionally – in fact, regular practice of yoga increases:

  • flexibility
  • balance
  • posture
  • overall strength
  • bone health
  • joint health
  • ability to manage emotions and the stress response

Runners are often plagued by sore knees, lower back pain, tight hamstrings and lower back pain because of the repetitive motion of running. Yoga helps runners stretch and relieve pressure on the muscles and joints.  Without stretching, the body will become unbalanced and you’re more likely to fall when running. Yoga benefits runners if performed before and after a run. Let’s explore a few other ways yoga helps runners.

Yoga Helps Runners With Flexibility and Strength
Yoga helps to correct posture problems that could lead to pain in the hip, knees and back. When the body is properly stretched, there is less chance for injury. Yoga can also improve overall strength and stamina. Runners need strong lungs, and yoga helps to improve respiratory breathing. This can help runners complete longer runs without tiring as easily. With better breathing and less muscle tightness through yoga, runners can increase the distances they run.

Runners Benefit for Restorative Poses and Stretches
Supported Fish, Corpse Pose, Pigeon Pose, Child’s Pose and Leg-Up-the-Wall Pose are all restorative poses. Runners often engage in these poses after long races to stretch and restore muscles. The poses are quite effective. These same poses are often recommended after intense aerobic workouts. 

Yoga stretches should be performed both before and after runs. This practice can improve flexibility and help to keep the muscles long. Lactic acid buildup, which significantly affects running, can also be eliminated by participating in yoga.

Yoga Helps Runners Focus
Runners can “get into the zone” and run longer distances when they learn to be in the moment and focus on body movements and breathing. Controlled breathing is taught in yoga during meditation.

Yoga Helps Runners to Run Safely
Yoga can help runners if they stretch before and after the run. Proper stretching before a run can prevent injuries and buildup of lactic acid. Every runner should have a strategy for their running regimen to ensure that the exercise is effective and beneficial!

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 Full-On Fit!

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Lalita February 28, 2013 at 6:46 am

Nice article. Yoga helps greatly to increase the stamina.

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