Optimizing the body for the race

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Running is a type of repetitive body effort, which occurs in a single plane: in a race we repeat thousands of times the same joint movements and in the same direction, it is always the same muscles that are active and doing the same activity and are also other same muscles are kept less active. This is something that the body ends up accusing : muscular exhaustion, which can even go unnoticed, injuries, joint wear and tear and imbalance in the muscular tensions that keep the body in balance, are some of the consequences that, in the long run, the fact of run regularly.

This reality should not mislead us, because running also has many benefits for the body, the psyche and the general state of being.

Running benefits at the general health level

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. Running regularly we maintain an organism that responds much better and faster to any natural stimulus. The organs in charge of elimination (of the elimination of organic waste) are those that benefit the most from this: as the circulation flow of the blood 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 impelled by blood pressure to expel toxins out.

In this cleaning process the lungs are especially favored. The pulmonary alveoli are a filter of the substances that we breathe in inspiration and at the same time are a means of expulsion of organic waste in expiration.

And because we live in a highly polluted environment, the lungs often accumulate external and internal dirt. Surely you’ve 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 irrigated with more force and more often by the blood, have a greater possibility of getting rid of all that “cake”. On the other hand, the increase in lung activity (we breathe more times and more deeply when we are running) improves the expulsion of these wastes by the lung and also improves respiration at the cell level. All this is an excellent regenerator of our body.

Anyone who spends time in 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, the race has been an essential resource: to escape dangers, to move, to defend oneself,

If you want to start in this discipline related to your nature, we advise you to design a good training plan, such as the one you can find on the website of our friend Pedro, tireless and enthusiastic runner, who has collected the most important guidelines to start running. .

Benefits of Yoga for Runners

The breathing

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 postures and hold 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 the body in a twist (for example) for several seconds, you may find that you cannot breathe with the same amplitude, that the same posture puts in tension muscles that limit the movement of the ribs and the diaphragm, making you not you can breathe deeply.

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 is progressively deeper and fuller, with the benefits that this entails to enjoy the race and improve your brand. 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

The muscles benefit from the practice of Yoga as well.

To improve the muscular response and consequently the stride, the contraction capacity of the leg muscles is equally important as their relaxation capacity. If you train your muscles to contract quickly and to the maximum of their capacity, it is highly recommended to also do the opposite: train your muscles to relax quickly and to the maximum of their capacity. This is precisely what you can achieve through Yoga.

In case you wonder how this can benefit your performance, I will 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 ability 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: not too much, not too little, what is necessary. Your body gains in impeccability and consequently in speed.

And not only this, because also by offering the effort and strength strictly necessary, 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. Imagine muscles as strings 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, in the end they compress the knee that will have little 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 necessary space for its important activity, the friction between the cartilages that covers the joint is minimal, and 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 that it has little role in the race, can also be affected by an imbalance of muscular forces. Because if one part of the body goes out of balance, the whole body goes out of balance. There is no way this is not the case.

The whole body

The body is a unit that works by harmonizing each of its parts for the well-being and proper functioning of them as a higher organism. And what Yoga does is stimulate and enhance the quality of the global being to regulate and balance itself.

The practice of Yoga acts holonically and we cannot separate its benefits in a certain part of the body, because its action is global. So in reality, your whole being will 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 bodily aspects. In each session, postures are usually combined that, although each one works a certain organic dynamic, together result in stimulation, toning, relaxation and functional improvement of the entire body.

The breathing

The race has a rhythm, which is “tense-relax-tense-relax- …” which is combined with another rhythm, which is: “inspire-exhale-inhale-exhale-inspire-exhale- …” Through the practice of Yoga consiques that this combined cyclical rhythm, which is the experiential basis of the race, be perfectly coordinated. But not only that, but also your ability to deepen this rhythm as a vital experience will increase.

This is due, in part, to the degree of concentration that can be obtained 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 claim to be tuned by your consciousness, this makes your concentration focus on your body with true depth. The fact that you are training this capacity for concentration and inner communication makes it easier for you to reproduce it when you run.

As you can imagine, this ability will make your career, not only more effective, but also more enjoyable.

And, although I have mentioned it before, I want to emphasize the fact that if you incorporate Yoga into your workouts, you are going to protect yourself from the typical and recurring injuries of the runner.

What do you need to get started?

The best thing to do when starting out is to get yourself a qualified guide who can verify and correct the alignment of your postures.

Although it remains for subsequent 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.

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