Movement and Recovery — and why it’s a healthy pairing for your body
Is your regular work out routine missing something? Are you itching for a new activity that boosts your heart rate and vastly improves your quarantine lifestyle?
No matter what you decide to do to bring variety into your work out routine, a healthy balance will improve your overall cardiovascular health and potentially your performance!
As a runner and a yogi, I know how good it feels to slide out of my sneakers and onto my mat. I also have seen how much stretching and recovery has improved my high intensity runs including intervals, sprints, and long endurance trail races.
I value the research and the power of data to inform decisions related to health and fitness, especially what research can teach us about our performance — like the effects of a serving of balanced work outs.
That’s why I went straight to the experts at WHOOP to see what they found digging through results from athletes using their product for peak performance based on recovery and body response.
Why trust WHOOP? The WHOOP technology, a super sweet tracker/watch measures body strain on a scale from 0–21 from specific work outs and other daily activities. They’re athletes helping athletes, and they know we want more insight into our activities. WHOOP’s goal is to tell athletes how to exercise and recover based on insight from previous work outs.
This allows you to see how various forms of exercise may affect your body differently.
Activity Insights from WHOOP
The stress on your body from running and yoga is completely on opposite ends of the body pressure scale! On the WHOOP strain calculator, yoga is at a 4 and running is at a 12, at opposite ends of the spectrum! Your activity work outs therefore impact your body’s recovery based on the strain level. The higher the strain, the longer recovery you will need to maintain your health and improve your performance.
Time is a very interest factor to consider, too.
Over one hour of running compared to one hour of yoga tripled the strain on the body based on WHOOP results. This means your body is working harder when you run for an hour. In a high strain work out, your muscles and joints are likely to endure more of a beating. As well, the higher the strain, the higher the cardiovascular response in the body. Too obvious? Here’s some more useful advice…
If you’re looking to do what you LOVE for longer — like running, yoga, skiing, hiking, rock climbing, you name it — you should consider a balanced approach to your work out to reduce redundancy and improve different muscles groups.
The data shows that if you have an hour or thirty minutes, different activities affect your body differently. By bringing in moderate running (fairly lower strain below 12) and consistent yoga (low strain below 4), you can allow your body to build strength without fatigue.
Turn Insight into Action
For each work out, consider how hard you want to push your body. If your intention is to make it an aggressive work out, maybe go on a longer run! If you’re looking to find some recovery or your body feels tired or sore, work in a shorter yoga session.
There’s so many ways to work diversity into your exercise routines. Sprinkle in some yoga and runs —and reap the benefits of a consistent practice and the cardio blip from you jogs.
Don’t know how to start varying your work outs?
Here’s a few creative ways to achieve more balance in both type of activity and strain so you can feel better and be good to your body.
(1) Considering the intensity of the activity
Incorporating a healthy balance of intensity into your weekly routine, which is hopefully some moderate running and consistent yoga, can drastically improve your body’s overall performance and keep you healthy and fit!
What could balance look like?
- Incorporate three high stamina yoga classes like power yoga, ashtanga, or batiste into your work out. These count as high strain work outs (WHOOP score is about 12!). Examples and favorites: sprint, HIIT class, or kick-boxing class.
Yoga benefits for your running performance are quantifiable.
- Three weekly runs or high cardio activities should balance out your week. Runs should be below threshold, and definitely below race pace! Basically, run one to two minutes slower. You should be able to chat with a friend or somewhat easily.
- REST! Work rest into your routine. Take a day off and go on a walk. Put your feet up and eat some ice cream! Seriously. A day off gives your body the time to recover, especially rest from your high strain activities.
(2) Vary your activity time
Try punching out a 20 minute run and hitting your mat for another 40 minutes. Another day, take an hour to run and namaste your body for 15 minutes.
I also believe in starting the day with yoga and ending the day with running and vice versa. Place your work outs mindfully throughout your day just as carefully as you dry and put away your wine glasses.
You may be able to stick to your normal activity duration while still straining your body about the same amount. Try seeing how spending time doing different activities makes you feel, and adjust accordingly.
(3) Work active recovery into your routine
Research shows that yoga, as active recovery — dynamic movement with a combination of isometric holds and movement — can help reduce inflammation and improve immunological tolerance and bonus, reduce symptoms of depression. Yoga is a complimentary therapy, but we knew that…
If you’re new to running or to yoga, work it in as a pre- or post- work out activity. You can even replace breaks with yoga poses during your work outs, like jogging to a mailbox and doing ten push-ups, and then jogging again — repeat! Yoga is a great way to slow the heart rate and work heated muscles safely.
Utilize a few yoga poses after you run for an active recovery. Flow a Sun A or move through lunges and warriors, and pause to really stretch the muscles you overworked — like quads, mammies, and calves!
(4) Join Namaste for Runners classes online
Namaste for Runners (NFR) is lows strained yoga taught by a yoga instructor and runner dedicated to stretching overused muscles and strengthening underused muscles in yoga, all with a sprinkle of engaging, inspiring nuggets to fuel your day.
We utilize low-intensity stretching and strength-based training engrained in research and expert advice so you can run hard and recover faster.
If you need more intensity, work in more high-level strain work-outs like cycling, skiing, or a a HIIT work out.
Sign up for NFR to get more namaste in your life.