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How Running Complements Your Fitness Routine

5 Ways Running Complements Your Existing Fitness Routine

We’ve partnered with Brooks Running to reveal all the ways in which running can change your body, mind, and fitness routine.

You don’t have to train for a marathon or even a 5K to call yourself a runner: the simple act of lacing up your sneakers and hitting the track makes you a runner.

Even if you don’t do it every day, running can have serious benefits. Running helps build strong bones, improves your stamina, and can lead to a longer lifespan. Your occasional run might help you perform better in your other workouts. Whether you’re always on your yoga mat or have a standing appointment with the bench press at the gym, running can help you improve your performance and crush barriers on and off the track — here’s how.

Weight Training
Weight training might be one of the most popular companions to running — exercisers can individually work any muscle that they feel needs a little extra love. Runners also might have an easier time lifting weights, since cardio helps your muscles and tendons adapt to a high workload and become more efficient over time.
Cycling and running are actually fairly similar, in that both aerobic activities work some of your largest muscles. That said, it makes sense that runners will have a leg up in cycling class: running increases stamina, so you won’t be huffing and puffing quite as quickly as you once were. Running also improves memory and your ability to switch tasks quickly, which might come in handy during drills.
Slow, mindful yoga flows might not seem like a natural pairing for running, but the two activities actually complement each other nicely. Running and other aerobic activities lower your resting heart rate over time, which gives you the endurance you need to hold tricky yoga poses. On the flip side, yoga increases flexibility and helps prevent injuries when you're running, lifting weights, or just carrying in the groceries.
As the name implies, high-intensity interval training can feel pretty intense. Each burst of activity is short, but requires all-out effort. When you first try HIIT, it’s easy to feel like you can’t keep up. That’s where running comes in: Your muscles adapt to the higher workload over time, making everything from taking the stairs to a hardcore HIIT workout go by faster. Plus, your Brooks Running shoes work just as well in the gym as they do on the track!
Ab Workouts
No matter how fit you are or how often you do them, crunches always create that same burn in the abs. It takes some serious mental strength to power through — something runners know well from pushing through an uphill course.

Credits: Photography: Felix Wong; Art Direction: Colleen Lennon; Hair and Makeup: Brett Jackson; Wardrobe: Brooks Running; Styling: Andi Nash; Prop Styling: Kristin St. Clair; Production: Cassie Doyle; Model: Stefanie Steel

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