Runners need flexibility, balance, mobility and strength to ensure efficiency of movement and to protect from injury and falls. SE Fitness runners have suffered too many injuries and falls this Autumn so I am urging everyone to take up our cross train challenge and get some regular training into your routine that is not running! What do you do? Please share your tips / photos / stories and inspire us!
Strength training, swimming, yoga and cycling all have important benefits not just for running but for your overall fitness. Try and fit one or more into your regular exercise program.
Benefits of Weight Training
Lifting weights or introducing body weight strength exercises into your regular routine will help to make your muscles stronger. This gives you better form which improves your efficiency helping you to run for longer. Greater power will also help you run faster. Perhaps most critical is that stronger muscles will help to protect you from injury.
Benefits of Swimming
Swimming is wonderful for runners because it improves cardio fitness but without the impact and stress on the body. Swimming builds strength especially in the upper body (an area often neglected by runners). Swimming is the best for runners’ recovery as the water flow acts as a gentle massage. Swimming helps develop your heart and lungs and good breathing control.
Benefits of Cycling
Cycling is another recommended exercise for runners not least because it generally takes place outdoors which is the runner’s natural habitat! Again it is a low impact cardio workout that helps you train but without the impact. Cycling helps build strength in quads, glutes and core. Cycling can aid recovery as it increases blood flow to the legs and the motion helps reduce muscle and joint stiffness.
Benefits of Yoga
Yoga helps to develop flexibility. Yoga practise helps loosen muscles, joints and ligaments enabling you to run with more freedom. Good posture and balance are the foundation for efficient and safe running. Holding yoga balance poses for periods of time encourage us to stand taller and stronger. These are useful skills to bring to running helping us maintain good posture and to prevent falls. Focus on the breath is an important part of Yoga practise. Developing conscious breathing helps with oxygen intake and managing anxiety.
These are just four suggestions of how you can introduce different exercise into your regular routine to support your running but also for good overall health and fitness. Try it out and let me know how you get on. Take up the SE Fitness Cross Training Challenge!!