Saturday, April 3, 2010

Running’s Bad For The Knees – “Not”

Though the myth still persists that high impact aerobic exercise is bad for the joints, recent research has begun to demonstrate the opposite is true, especially when it comes to jogging and running. Not only does the research establish there is no correlation between running and joint-related disorders like arthritis, the new studies reveal that running and other forms of regular, vigorous activity — may even help guard people against joint problems later in life.

In a long-term study conducted at Stanford University, researchers found that runners in fact experienced less physical disability, and had a 39% lower mortality rate than the non-runners. This is partially because cartilage — the soft connective tissue that surrounds the bones in joints — does not have a blood supply like muscle, and therefore relies on the pumping action generated by weight bearing movement to get its necessary allotment of oxygen and nutrients. When you bear weight on lower extremity joints with activities like running - synovial fluid squishes in and out of the joint, which explains why a daily jog or run, or any other workout for that matter, is in fact useful for maintaining healthy cartilage and joint function.

To reap jogging and running’s positive benefits the best advice for maintaining injury-free joints may be to simply keep running; that is, jog or run consistently and avoid long periods of down time. This may be especially hard during the blustery winter months, but runners should try to get in daily workouts. More importantly being stuck indoors doesn’t need to be a deterrent — tackle the treadmill, climb flights of stairs, or walk briskly at the mall any of these will do the trick. Most of all just don't sit around for weeks at a time and then start jogging or running six-milers out of the blue. To stay off the sidelines avoid sudden bursts of activity which are often the primary culprits for injury.

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