Don’t Fear Running Will Cause Arthritis

Don't Fear Running Will Cause Arthritis

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.

Don't Fear Running Will Cause Arthritis

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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24 Comments

  1. My husband and daughter are runners and I can attest to the fact that everything you are sharing is all the advice they have gotten from coaches – especially when it comes to reducing the impact of running on one’s knees. Great resource!

  2. I am one of those people! I thought running was bad for your knees (you just busted my bubble of excuses) I find that I must have bad form because I feel it in my shins and I’m afraid to get shin splints. I guess you need to come down and teach me!

  3. I never even considered the negative aspects that running can have on your body since I love it so much. Having quality running shoes definitely makes a major difference!

  4. I never realized running could even cause arthritis! Running is such a great way to exercise – I used to be more serious about it before. I should keep at it again.

  5. This is great info to know. I am trying to build up my endurance and stamina again after being sick for so long. These are great tips to remember as I get back in shape and start running.

  6. It really is amazing how many people still believe this!! This is great information for any one who believes this, especially if they want to try running.

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