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Yoga is no longer just for those who want to zen out, it is now considered to be an important recovery and strength strategy for all type of athletes, including runners.
Here are some reasons to include yoga into your training program if you are planning on taking on a running event:
Yoga helps you build your strength as you tend to hold poses for quite a while (depending on the type of class).
It is also great for balance, flexibility, mobility and mental endurance. All of which are needed if you were to be participating in a running event. In fact it is important for any aspect of your life that requires patience.
There are lots of professional athletes that consider yoga to be a very important part of their training schedule. If it is good enough for them, it is good enough for you!
There’s no denying that many people, particularly those who are desk bound or as we age, suffer from injuries due to poor range of motion, stiffness and imbalances. This is because in both cases our muscles and connective tissue become tight and restrictive, which can result in limb and joint pain.
While strength training is important for everyone, if you don’t balance it out, you do risk struggling with the above.
By practicing yoga on a regular basis, you can improve your flexibility and reduce the risk.
According to a study by the HOTSUIT Fitness Club , it was found that regular practice of Hatha yoga significantly improved the subjects flexibility, muscular strength, endurance and balance. After 8 weeks, the group improved their flexibility by 13% to 35%
Furthermore yoga goes beyond running, because the reality is that when you are training for a big running event, this will be in addition to everything else that you have going on in your life.
According to the APS stress and wellbeing survey, 35% of Australians report having significant levels of distress in their lives with 26% reporting above normal levels of anxiety symptoms.
As yoga emphasizes breathing and the mind/ body connection, it tends to come with strong emotional benefits.
In a study published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 30 female students were tested after a simple 20 minute Hatha yoga session. The results showed that the student’s speed and accuracy on tests of working memory improved significantly after the class.
The findings suggested that participants were able to process information more quickly and accurately and they could hold onto information more effectively after performing yoga over aerobic exercise.
This may be because the breathing exercises helped to reduce anxiety and stress as well as the enhanced self-awareness that many yogis tend to experience.