Jogging and yoga provide many benefits for fitness and health. Jogging gives you a good cardiovascular workout and strengthens the muscles in your legs and hips. Yoga balances out the demands of jogging by stretching out muscles and joints that may become tight, including the hamstrings and quads. As such, yoga provides a cross-training benefit to jogging. For best results, jog first and use yoga poses as your cool-down routine.
Start your workout with a five-minute warm-up. Walk briskly or ride a bike for five minutes to boost your heart rate and increase blood flow to the large muscles of your body.
Jog for about 30 minutes. The Centers for Disease Control recommend that adults get 30 minutes of moderate exercise at least five days a week. (See Reference 4) If you are not ready for a straight 30-minute jog, alternately run and walk for 30 minutes, or break up your jog into 10-minute segments.
After your jog, rest a few minutes until your breath returns to normal, walking around slowly to start your cool-down. Drink a little water.
Lay out your mat and perform a few yoga stretches to continue your cool-down. Start with easy movements, like Shoulder Rolls, Arm Circles and Cow (See Reference 8) and Cat poses.
Move on to yoga poses that work the long muscles in your legs and hips. At minimum, do Standing and Seated Forward Bends to stretch the hamstrings, hips and calves (See Reference 5); Downward-Facing Dog and its counterpart Upward-Facing Dog to stretch the hamstrings and calves (See Reference 6); Cobra or Bridge pose for a backward bend to stretch the chest and abdomen (See Reference 7); and Head to Knee (See Reference 9) or Knees to Chest pose to stretch the quads. Hold each pose for up to 30 seconds, breathing normally.
Do a few deep, diaphragmatic breathing cycles, then sit or lie quietly for a few minutes of meditation to end your routine.
- MayoClinic.com: Jogging vs. Walking: Is One Better for Your Health?
- MayoClinic.com: Yoga: Tap Into the Many Health Benefits
- Miami University: Jogging the Course
- CDC: How Much Physical Activity Do Adults Need?
- Yoga Journal: Standing Forward Bend
- Yoga Journal: Downward-Facing Dog
- Yoga Journal: Cobra Pose
- Yoga Journal: Cow Pose
- Yoga Journal: Head to Knee Pose
- Consult your healthcare provider before beginning any new exercise program.
Patricia Rockwood has been a professional copy editor and writer for more than 25 years. She is an avid gardener with a certified Florida backyard habitat. Rockwood has practiced yoga for more than 40 years and taught for much of that time. She is also a professional mosaic artist.