By: Teri Burgess-Brown, Senior Health and Wellness Director, Mary Free Bed YMCA
We are wise and we chose to run. We run to stay healthy or become healthier. We run to reduce stress or to reach a goal. Running has so many benefits and strengthens our bodies as well as improving our everyday lives.
Over time, running can also take its toll. As we age, we naturally lose muscle mass and our connective tissue becomes less pliable and resilient. In order to keep our bodies functioning efficiently, incorporating a few simple changes can make a big difference.
Combining Yoga based strength and mobility work will help counterbalance the negative effects of running on our bodies and create a deep inner strength.
Several poses in particular are a great option for runners and taking 5-10 minutes after your run to do these, could really make a difference over time. Back extension work along with hip opening are vital to counterbalance the forward/frontal plane work of running. Here are a few poses to try.
· Seated ½ Lotus
· Upper Body Locust
· Lower Body Locust
· Downward Facing Dog
· Upward Facing Dog
· Bridge Pose
· Savasana (Relaxation)
Be sure to have GREAT posture while doing these poses and a strongly engaged (contracted muscles) core – except during relaxation, of course!
We invite you to try Yoga or BODYFLOW® at the YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids. We offer many classes at our area locations and would love to partner with you to help you achieve your health and wellness goals. If coming to a class doesn’t always work for your schedule, consider trying Les Mills On Demand® for BODYFLOW® or put on some music and go through the above poses on your own.
Yoga is a wonderful way to slow down and really release tightness while gaining a sense of strength and wellbeing inside and out.