Should I Do Yoga Before Or After Running?

Perhaps you’re an avid runner who loves to burn off stress after a rough day of work. Or, maybe you’re a dedicated yogi who enjoys a soothing, yoga-based start to your day. Either way, you might decide you want more from your exercise regime, so you begin to examine the merits of combining workouts.

Key Points:

  • Doing yoga and running on the same day may be possible, depending on your fitness level.
  • In general, you should do cardio before doing yoga in order to prevent injury.
  • Splitting your workouts into two separate days or combining them into one can both work however it is important to listen to your body.

Can you incorporate yoga and a run on the same day? What order should you do them in? Let’s find out!

Can I Do Yoga And Run On The Same Day?

If you appreciate an invigorating yoga class and the heart-pumping cadence of a run, you might wonder whether you can do both on the same day. After all, both are considered workouts, so is it too much to do both on the same day?

The answer depends on you and your fitness level. For instance, if you’re new to yoga and running, doing both on the same day might seem like too much. Your body might not be ready for this much activity in one day, so it’s usually best to work your way up to this. You might start with running a few times a week and yoga a few times per week, with at least one rest day.

Then, as you build your strength and endurance, you can begin to incorporate two-a-day workouts. Add yoga to one of your running days or vice versa. Slowly add more two-a-day sessions until you work up to your goals. As you build your regime, remember to listen to your body – don’t push yourself too hard, as this opens the door to injury.

On the other hand, maybe you’re a seasoned yogi and runner. You want to do both on the same day, but is it a good idea? If your fitness level allows for it, you can do both on the same day. While we don’t recommend doing a high-intensity yoga class on the same day as a run (your body needs time to recover), other types of yoga pair beautifully with a run.

Vinyasa yoga offers an added bonus with strength work, while restorative yoga cools the body and returns you to your resting heart rate. Choose the yoga class that best aligns with your goals, but again, remember to listen to your body!

Is It Better To Do Yoga Before Or After Cardio?

The answer to this question isn’t quite as straightforward as you might hope. Why? The answer varies based on your training schedule.

Split Workouts

Let’s say you plan on doing your workouts a few hours apart, so you can do them in whatever order you like. You might not have time for a yoga session and a cardio burst at the same time, so you might need to split your workouts.

So, if you prefer to start the day with an invigorating cardio session, like a run in the brisk morning air, then go for it! Close the day with a soothing yoga session to elongate your muscles and help them recover for the next day.

On the flip side, you could do your yoga session in the morning to start the day. A few hours later, you could incorporate your run. Choose whatever works best for you. If you decide to do cardio in the late afternoon or evening, we recommend wrapping up at least a few hours before bedtime to ensure you’re not ramped up when you need to wind down.

All-In-One Workouts

But what about completing one right after the other? Is there any particular order? Ideally, you should do your yoga after cardio. While yoga doesn’t strictly consist of stretching, many sessions incorporate flows that stretch your muscles. These poses can elongate and relax the muscles, which isn’t ideal for running immediately after class.

For optimal performance, your muscles need to be tight enough to undergo the physical load of running. So, by stretching and loosening your muscles, you could open the door to injuries, as the muscles might be too relaxed.

Of course, not every yoga class is slow-paced and relaxation-based. Hot yoga, for example, is far from it. If you’ve ever participated in a hot yoga class, you’re probably all too familiar with the sweltering temperatures, damp humidity, and muscle-burning poses. So, for example, could you run after a hot yoga class?

This particular example brings up an entirely different issue than relaxed muscles. Instead, it presents the issue of exhaustion and dehydration, which are relatively common after a hot yoga class. Your body needs time to recover while you rehydrate, so running immediately after a hot yoga session isn’t ideal.

A Perfectly-Timed Cool Down

One of the ideal aspects of incorporating yoga after a run is its perfect placement as a cool-down routine. While some types of yoga, like hot yoga, are considered cardiovascular workouts, multiple types of yoga offer the perfect cool-down sequence.

So, while we don’t recommend throwing in a hot yoga session after your run, you could easily use your yoga class as a cool-down session. You can even use your yoga session as a stretch, cool-down, and strength-building finish by incorporating Vinyasa yoga.

If you’re looking for the perfect yoga class to cool your jets after a sweaty run, we recommend participating in a more relaxing yoga class, like restorative yoga. The thought of rolling out a yoga mat in a class full of people might not sound ideal, especially when you’re sweaty after a run, so you can always roll out a mat at home!

Can I Run After Doing Yoga?

Ultimately, scheduling decisions fall to you. If you enjoy warming up your muscles with a yoga routine before running, then go for it. Do what works best for you, but ensure you promote safety while doing so. Avoid deep, static stretching in your yoga routine before a run, as this can negatively impact your performance throughout the run.

Try to stick with dynamic movements throughout your yoga session instead of longer holds. In addition, remember to dedicate about twenty minutes to cool down after your run. Move through a dynamic stretching routine, slowly bringing your heart rate and breathing back to normal.