Runners are notoriously known for having little flexibility. Our muscles are typically tight because we do not always put the time into stretching; rather, we focus on endurance and strength. Flexibility, however, is a key element for improving performance because “a flexible body is more efficient, sees more gains in strength and endurance, enjoys more range of motion, is less injury-prone, recovers more quickly, and simply feels better” (Runner’s World, August 2004).
Taking time to stretch helps lengthen the muscles. Tonight I did a yoga video and while, in my mind, it did not seem like I was working out very hard, I know that the benefits are still there. The entire body is being worked in a much different way than running. It’s still nature and deliberate movement from one pose to the next makes you realize how important it is to focus on stretching and lengthening. I know I’ll feel better tomorrow knowing that I took the time for loosening up my muscles.