Yoga and Jogging: Similarities and Differences
Yoga is a body and mind practice that has already become popular worldwide. Practicing yoga, you not only find peace of mind but also improve your physical health. Following different yoga types, you can boost your flexibility, strength, and balance (4). During a yoga class, you are engaging all your muscles. Holding static poses lies at the heart of every yoga exercise. As you release yourself into a pose, you relax and free your mind from all the anxiety and unnecessary thoughts.
Jogging is more of a physical activity than a mental one. When you are jogging, you are activating almost every inch of your body, with a particular emphasis on legs and core. Indeed, during your jogging session, primarily quadriceps, hamstrings, hip flexors, glutes, and calves are involved. Unlike yoga, jogging is dynamic. It is faster than walking but slower than running. In general, jogging is a great cardio exercise for weight loss and leg muscle growth. However, it is not a strength exercise, which is why you cannot blow up your muscles just by jogging around.
Apparently, the only thing yoga and jogging have in common is that they engage your whole body. Other than that, the activities considerably differ in terms of the manner and goals of exercising. This is why it might be worth combining them.
Why combine yoga and jogging?
Yoga and jogging prove to be a great combo, as they facilitate the effectivity of each other. Indeed, yoga benefits joggers in different ways. If you start doing yoga regularly, you will notice that your range of motion is increasing (3). Besides strength that adds to one’s endurance, flexibility is key to joggers, since it lets them move with ease. Balance is another aspect that makes yoga valuable for runners. With yoga, you will enhance your balance which will help you remain firm on your feet, avoid injuries and keep pace when jogging. Holding yoga poses requires proper breathing, which is also crucial for joggers. If you breathe unsteadily, you are likely to become dizzy quickly. Consequently, following your breath during yoga poses will be supremely beneficial for your body and will allow you to jog long distances.
When is it better to do yoga: before or after a jog?
Since yoga exercises usually focus on stretching, it is advisable to do them after a jogging session. During a jog, your muscles are working really hard, which is why they need a good stretch afterwards. Yoga after jogging is a great relaxing cooldown, which can gradually even out your breath and normalize your heart rate (2). If you stop jogging abruptly, there’s a strong possibility of you harming yourself. When you are working out, capillaries in your legs widen, letting the leg and core muscles get more oxygen. As a result, blood flows to the engaged muscles from the parts that are not involved. When you are done with your jogging, the blood must return to those areas, and to do that, you should cool down. If you do not, chances are that your blood pressure will sink and you will lose consciousness. In addition, stretching can take away the soreness from your muscles and decrease the chance of an injury or cramps. Yoga is also said to make your muscles leaner, preventing bulkiness.
You can also do yoga to warm up your muscles before jogging. This aerobic exercises is rather risky if your muscles are stiff. If you fail to do a warmup, you can pull your muscles or sprain your leg, which will result in a trauma. Therefore, performing simple yoga poses is a great way to prepare yourself for a jog. Apart from stretching, yoga poses will activate your muscles properly (1).
Recommended Yoga Exercises Before a Jog to Activate Your Muscles
- Warrior One/High Lunge. Take a deep breath in and on your exhale step your left leg forward and bend the knee, holding the right leg straight. With an inhale, raise your hands into the air and hold. You can go as deep as you can, just listen to your body. Repeat on the other leg.
- High Lunge Twist. While in the high lunge pose, fold your hands in prayer and bend forward on your inhale. As you exhale, put your left elbow behind your right thigh, twisting your torso and looking upwards if you can. Repeat on the other leg.
- Warrior Three. Inhale and shift your weight to your left leg. On your exhale, bend forward and extend your right leg, squaring your hips. Repeat on the other leg.
Recommended Cooldown Yoga Exercises
- Low Lunge. Take a deep breath in and on your exhale step your left leg forward and bend the knee, holding the right leg straight. Then, rest your right knee on the mat. Repeat on the other leg.
- Half Split. In the kneeling position, extend your left leg forward and hold. Repeat on the other leg.
- Forward Fold. On your exhale, bend forward from your hips and touch the ground with your palms or fingers. You may slightly bend your knees.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!