Running or Jogging – is it bad for your joints?

More of us are taking up running than ever before in the UK. But is it bad for your joints – especially knees & hips?

Scientists have struggled to find a conclusive link between activity and osteoarthritis, in fact some believe that running offers some protection for joints.

Runners hit the ground with about 8 times their body weight, which is 3 times the impact of a walker. However, with longer strides running or jogging means you take fewer steps and contact with the ground was for less time. So overall the impact on knees was about the same for runners and walkers over the same distance.

In a study which was over 21 years following nearly 1000 running-club members and non-runners found no difference in the state of their knees at the end of the research.

Excessive weight will affect the knees & hips as will injury in the long term, because the joints are loaded unevenly. If you already have knee or hip problems try Nordic Walking, it gets you out walking but with less pressure on the joints.

Running and jogging strengthens and improves bone mass and is effective in protecting against osteoporosis (bone thinning).

Don’t overdo it though, long-term distance runners have a higher incidence of early signs of heart disease, but those who train intermittently over years do not. So of course push yourself to achieve the Marathon challenge, but over the long term it’s better to run a steady pace split over about 5 sessions in a weeks covering no more than 20 miles a week.

So if you enjoy running you shouldn’t stop unless you have been advised to on medical grounds.

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