Benefits of Running at the level of general health
Benefits of Running at the level of general health
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The fact of subjecting the body to an effort (which is not the same as overexertion) on a regular basis has in its favor that this stimulates the systemic activity of the organism.
That is, it stimulates the functioning of the common body organs . By running regularly we maintain an organism that responds much better and more quickly to any natural stimulus. The organs in charge of elimination (of the elimination of organic waste) are the ones that benefit the most from this: when the flow of blood circulation is reinforced, it collects the accumulated residual toxins and drags them towards the elimination organs, such as the kidneys, lungs, colon and skin, for example, and these organs are in turn driven by blood pressure to expel toxins out.
This makes the body less clogged and the whole system works better, with less friction.
In this cleansing process the lungs are especially favored. The pulmonary alveoli are a filter for the substances that we breathe during inspiration and, at the same time, they are a route for the expulsion of organic waste during expiration.
And because we live in a highly polluted environment, the lungs tend to accumulate external and internal dirt. Surely you have had a cold that has loaded your lungs with mucus and this has made it extremely difficult to breathe, so you know what we mean when we say that obstruction occurs.
Well, if we run regularly, the lungs, being watered more strongly and more often by blood, have a greater chance of getting rid of all that “cake”. On the other hand, the increase in lung activity (we breathe more often and more deeply when we are running) improves the expulsion of this waste by the lung and also improves respiration at the cellular level. All this is an excellent regenerator of our body.
Anyone who spends any time of their day running knows that breathing is a fundamental element in running. And this connects us back to the central theme of this post. The benefits of Yoga for someone who runs regularly.
Running is natural in the human being. Since the first hominids, running has been an essential resource: to escape from danger, to move, to defend oneself,…
If you want to get started in this discipline related to your nature, we advise you to design a good training plan, like the one you can find on the website of our friend Pedro, a tireless and enthusiastic runner, who has collected the most important guidelines to start running .
Benefits of Yoga for Runners
Do we agree that breathing is an important aspect of running ? Well, if we are, let’s see how we can improve our breathing through Yoga.
The proposal of Yoga is to perform some postures and maintain them for a short time, several seconds, so that the body as a whole can reap the benefits that this posture has on the body.
Each of the Yoga postures is focused on certain organic aspects and all of them act on the respiratory capacity.
When you keep your body in a torsion (for example) for several seconds, you may realize that you cannot breathe as wide, that the same posture tenses muscles that limit the movement of the ribs and diaphragm, causing you to not you can take a deep breath.
But after a few Yoga sessions, you may realize that this limitation is giving way. That you can maintain the posture more comfortably and that your breathing deepens in it. You have gained lung capacity! Your breathing becomes progressively deeper and more complete , with the benefits that this entails to enjoy the race and improve your mark. Of course!
But this enormous advantage is not the only one that the regular practice of Yoga will offer you, no. There is more.
The muscles benefit from the practice of Yoga as well.
To improve the muscular response and consequently the stride, the ability to contract the muscles of the legs is equally important as their ability to relax. If you train your muscles to contract quickly and to their full capacity, it’s highly recommended to also do just the opposite: train your muscles to relax quickly and to their full capacity. This is precisely what you can achieve through Yoga.
In case you wonder how this can benefit your performance, I’ll explain it to you, no problem.
The muscular fatigue that we have already mentioned at the beginning of this writing, ceases to be a danger if your muscles develop the capacity to relax after each effort that you request and with the same depth of relaxation as the intensity of the contraction.
So muscle contraction is what drives us to stride , but muscle relaxation is what drives us to launch the flawless stride , in other words, the optimal stride. In the optimal stride you are exerting effort and force in the right measure: neither too much nor too little, what is necessary. Your body gains in impeccability and consequently in speed.
And not only this, because in addition to offering the strictly necessary effort and force, fatigue is less and the risk of injury is minimized.
If you work exclusively or to a greater extent muscle strength , your joints are going to have a hard time, sooner or later. Think of muscles as cords that link one bone to another. In the leg we have several muscle groups that join the femur with the tibia and/or the fibula through the ligaments.
The joint between the femur and the tibia/fibula is the knee joint. If you contract and contract and contract the muscles that join these upper and lower leg bones, they ultimately compress the knee which will have hardly any room for movement.
This can lead to joint wear of different magnitudes, but over time it can become severe and irreversible.
On the other hand, if you contract these muscles and relax them deeply after each contraction, the patellar joint regains the space it needs for its important activity, the friction between the cartilage that covers the joint is minimal, then the knee remains healthy and functional for long, long time.
We have given the example of the knee, but we could speak in the same way of the hip, the groin, even the shoulder which, although it seems to play little role in the race, can also be affected by an imbalance of muscle forces. Because if one part of the body goes out of balance, the whole body goes out of balance. There’s no way it won’t.
The body is a unit that works by harmonizing each of its parts for the well-being and proper functioning of the same as a superior organism. And what Yoga does is stimulate and enhance the quality that the global being has to regulate and balance itself.
The practice of Yoga acts in a holonic way and we cannot separate its benefits in a certain part of the body, because its action is global. So in reality, your whole being is going to experience an improvement with the regular practice of Yoga.
The postures, or Asanas that are called in Sanskrit, are designed to focus their performance each on specific body aspects. In each session postures are usually combined that, although each one works on a certain organic dynamic, together they result in stimulation, toning, relaxation and functional improvement of the entire body.
The race has a rhythm, which is “tense-relax-tense-relax-…” which is combined with another rhythm, which is: “inspire-exhale-inspire-exhale-inspire-exhale-…” Through the practice of Consique Yoga that this combined cyclic rhythm, which is the experiential basis of the race, is perfectly coordinated. But not only that, but also your ability to delve into this rhythm as a vital experience will increase.
This is so due, in part, to the degree of concentration that is achieved with the practice of Yoga:
When you maintain a posture for a certain time, the body sends you signals and you establish communication with it. The very pacifying nature of the postures and this stillness in the effort, allows body messages to emerge that demand to be tuned in by your consciousness, this makes your concentration focus on your body with true depth. The fact of training this capacity for concentration and internal communication makes it easier for you to reproduce it when you run.
As you can imagine this ability will make your run not only more effective, but also more enjoyable .
And, although I have already mentioned it before, I want to emphasize the fact that if you incorporate Yoga into your training, you will protect yourself from the typical and recurrent injuries of the runner .
And you? What do you think? What is your experience? Do you want to try?
Ann Mazur is a runner who loves and recommends Yoga combined with running. She is improving her times by doing less km in her training. Ann is someone who has known Yoga as a runner, she has verified its benefits and has opted for it to improve her general health, her power and her times. You can see here her results that she makes public on her website: « RunnersLoveYoga »
We want to express our gratitude to Ann, for having raised a crusade so that the benefits that Yoga can offer to runners are known in the areas of the Runner and we want to thank her also for authorizing us to use his photographs that illustrate like no other the harmonization and balance that this practice brings to the development of the career.
What do you need to start?
The best thing to do when starting out is to find a qualified guide who can check and correct the alignment of your postures.
Although it remains for future publications to deal with the subject, we anticipate that the correct alignment of each posture is very important so that you can obtain all the benefits of the practice. Books are good allies that can help you understand the many aspects of Yoga.