Don’t Fear Running Will Cause Arthritis
Many runners are concerned that their exercise routine and other competitions that they partake in as part of their love of running are starting to deteriorate the health of their knees. Whilst many may worry that the wear and tear of running will ultimately ruin your knees or create a higher risk of osteoarthritis, research actually suggests that runners are reducing their risk of bad knees and osteoarthritis by running on a regular basis. According to Dartmouth-Hitchcock (D-H) Rheumatologist Alicia Zbehlik, MD, MPH, ‘A runner tends to be leaner on average and the lower BMI puts less strain on the knee. Weight is the number one modifiable risk factor for developing osteoarthritis. The higher the weight, the higher the risk,’ says Zbehlik.
Running Won’t Harm You
Whoever told you that running will harm your knees is living off old news. It is in fact true that even your own doctor will cite that daily exercise is necessary for the means to lead a happy and healthier lifestyle. Running is one of the easiest ways to work on cardio and weight loss at the same time; you are strengthening both your heart and your muscles with one exercise routine. We have been raised to know that exercise helps our bodies and our mood, which in turn helps us to be healthier individuals.
Keep Being Active
It is also true that being active reduces weight and your BMI level. Having a lower BMI and less weight means you’re reducing the chance of osteoarthritis. Runners tend to have a more lean body, as this is something they do on a regular basis, which provides muscle tone and less fat on the body. Common sense would tell you that the less fat on your body, the less strain on your knees. The continuation of running is actually benefiting your body as a whole and not in fact causing arthritis. If you are a runner, I bet you know what I am talking about. You have seen your body mass index lower and the weight slide right off because running is a great cardio workout which reduces fat.
How to Protect your Knees
If you are still concerned with protecting your knees, as we all should be, here are some tips from Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center on how to protect your knees:
– Use good form when running, leaning slightly forward, keeping your knees bent.
– Make sure your shoes have enough support and can absorb shock well.
– Avoid running on hard surfaces like concrete.
– Keep a healthy weight. Being overweight puts additional stress on the knees.
– Increase activity gradually. Doing too much before your body is conditioned can cause injury.
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