Benefits of Yoga and Pilates for Runners

A few readers have asked me why I chose yoga to complement my training runs as I prepare for the half marathon. Well, I can tell you that yoga makes my workout feel more balanced, my body more flexible and my breathing more even. And let's face it, pounding the pavement can be rough on your muscles and joints, so yoga, being more restorative and elongating by nature, can keep you loose and prevent injury.

An article I read in Yoga Journal says, "Runners can use yoga practice to balance strength, increase range of motion and train the body and mind. Asanas move your body through gravitational dimensions while teaching you how to coordinate your breath with each subtle movement. The eventual result is that your body, mind, and breath are integrated in all actions." Can't beat that.

Our resident trainer, Leslie McNabb also recommends Pilates to complement a regular running routine. She says: "Pilates can help improve your endurance, decrease the amount of time your muscles need to recover from your runs and reduce the chances of developing injuries that could interfere with your running goals. Pilates gives you strength and flexibility by using your body weight or light springs as resistance. It lets you build those benefits without adding bulky muscles that can hinder a long-distance runner."

Are you a runner? What complementary exercise do you prefer? Please share below.


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