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Repetitive actions such as running — particularly distance running — can lead to wear and tear on the joints.
"Everything we do becomes repetitive over time, so finding other activities to balance the body is essential to an overall feeling of well-being," yoga instructor and runner Matt Giordano tells Yahoo Health. "Cross training and contrasting exercises can often improve our running. The reason for this is simple — when the body is in balance it is most efficient and powerful."
That’s where yoga comes in. “Yoga serves as a great way to really get to know your body from the inside out,” Giordano says. “Practicing yoga has been highly effective for many runners and athletes that have built up tightness in their body that inhibits range of motion and muscle efficiency.”
Yoga builds strength through full range of motion, which protects the joints, and provides more flexibility and a greater capacity to lengthen muscles — which, ultimately, will keep you safe and help you maintain your athleticism, he says.
Watch the video above as Giordano takes you through a two-minute pre-run yoga sequence, part of Gaiam’s new “Athletic Yoga for Runners” DVD (available on Amazon).