Owner and Founder of Endurance Pilates and Yoga, Julie Gagnon-Erickson Outlines the Benefits of Yoga for Runners
Yoga boasts a wide range of physical advantages including improved mobility and greater biomechanical balance. Although yoga and running are vastly different exercises, when practiced together they provide various benefits for the mind and body. Running is a strength and endurance building activity that utilizes the same group of muscles over and over, making a runner sometimes vulnerable to overuse injuries without a proper conditioning routine apart from the miles on the road.
Julie Gagnon-Erickson, the Founder of Endurance Pilates and Yoga has taught fitness to a diverse group of individuals for over twenty years. As an experienced instructor, she claims that whether one is an avid runner or new to the sport, yoga is an ideal cross-training workout which allows for an increased range of motion and improved flexibility. She takes the time to discuss the various benefits of practicing yoga to improve running performance.
Helps Reduce Physical Stress
Runners typically sustain a significant amount of physical stress due to the repetitive nature of the exercise. Avid runners can sometimes experience muscle rigidity as a result of performing similar muscular actions for an extended period of time and miles. Julie Gagnon-Erickson claims that by regularly practicing yoga properly, individuals can learn to safely increase their joint range of motion and provide support by strengthening the opposing muscle groups to sustain this newfound mobility. Through systematic conditioning and a specific yoga practice that provides attention to muscular connections, runners can learn to place demands on their intrinsic muscle groups which support the entire skeletal system, helping to offset pressure.
Properly executed and muscularly supported stretching is crucial for runners looking to improve their rage of motion and to help to elongate muscles and tissues. According to Julie Gagnon-Erickson, yoga poses held for sufficient periods of time coupled with moving sequences, help to maintain a proper range of motion in the joints and provide the stability necessary from the ligaments, and connective tissues to allow individuals to run with more freedom. Many runners overlook the importance of proper and supported flexibility; it is a vital component to improved biomechanics and improving one’s overall performance.
Yoga practice helps individuals develop strength in the core, upper back and legs, allowing runners to reduce the chance of injury. Although yoga is not considered an aerobic exercise, many studies have demonstrated that it is a highly effective form of conditioning. Julie claims that individuals must lift their own body weight and each pose targets a specific group of muscles in the upper and lower body as well as in the core.
Stresses Rest & Recovery
According to Julie Gagnon-Erickson, yoga can help regulate physical strain given its focus on upper and lower body stretching and strengthening and core stability. By practicing yoga strength techniques runners can mitigate the chance of injury by utilizing the proper muscle patterns to develop an efficient stride and a sound gait.
Yoga as a Well-rounded Form of Exercise
Yoga is an essential tool for both serious and casual runners. The system does far more than simply burn calories, it is a complete mind-body workout that combines strength training with mindfulness and control. Julie Gagnon-Erickson encourages individuals of all ages to experience the benefits of practicing yoga.
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