Stretch It Out
Cover Photo By Katie Lue
When it comes to keeping fit, you’ve got it covered. You hit the gym regularly, pound the streets in your running gear and eat a balanced diet.
Exercise is great. It’s great for your mental and your physical health and is an essential part of a happier and healthier life. But exercise can lead to injury, especially if you play a contact sport and more frequently as we grow older.
That’s when we need to start looking at other forms of exercise. Popping pain relief and hitting up your osteopath is fine and often necessary in the short term, but what can you do to help prevent injuries in the first place?
The answer, we suggest, is a yoga routine. Great for strengthening key areas of the body that are prone to getting injured and helping your body to full strength after auto accident injuries.
In this article we look at the benefits of yoga as a preventative measure and how you can target your key areas.
Yoga For Runners
If you’re finding a specific area of your body is losing strength and running feels like it’s putting an unnecessary strain on areas such as your knees, hips etc yoga can help.
Start with a general stretching routine, something runners very often forget to do in any case. Stretch your hamstrings and calves with the Downward Dog pose and hold for around a minute, longer if it feels great.
Move on to stretching those hip flexors with a low lunge, reaching those hands straight up to the ceiling for an added stretch through your core. Follow this up with a Reclining Pigeon pose that works amazingly effectively to release tension in your hips and finish the stretching element with a Reclining Spinal Twist to release your back.
Then you’re ready for the more difficult part of the routine. Now you’re feeling warmed up start with Downward Dog Split pose that will bring strength to your glutes, essential for any runner but particularly those covering longer distances.
Follow through into a Crescent, a standing position that helps strengthen your lower body muscles and helps practice balance and stability. Get down for the yoga push up, start by pushing yourself into the plank position then rolling forward on your toes while keeping your arms tucked under you. Hold for as long as you can before going into Downward Dog to stretch out those legs and arms.
Carry out some yoga stretching and strengthening at least once a week and you’ll find your running form and in particular your stamina will see a noticeable improvement. You should also find yourself injured less with stronger, looser muscles that can better support the problem areas in your body. Head online and find a routine that suits you best and you’ll be able to practice your new techniques in the comfort of your own home. All you need it a mat and a determination to bring something new to the table when it comes to your exercise routine.