Running is one of the most comprehensive physical activities, which also makes it a common exercise for those looking for a full body workout. It has many great benefits for your health, such as burning calories, relieving stress levels, and even lowering your risk of heart disease. However, there are also some myths that circulate about running that may turn one off this workout. Today, you will see four common conceptions associated with running. Some are true and some are false. Follow along to see if these are running facts or running fiction.
1: Running Will Damage Your Knees
Many physical therapists will say that a common question they are asked is if running is really so bad on knees. For the average person, the answer is a resounding no, if done properly. Research has shown the opposite to be true.
Findings published in the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy in 2017 show that the risk of developing arthritis in knees actually decreases for runners. 10.2 percent of nonrunners will develop osteoarthritis in knees or hips, while that number drops to just 3.5 percent for recreational runners.
2: Running Can Help You Make Better Decisions
A 2019 study conducted by the Baker Heart and Diabetes Association showed that cardiovascular exercise, such as running, conducted in the morning will improve cognitive performance, such as decision-making, throughout the entire day.
This means morning runs will not only help you physically, but mentally as well. This will allow you to have a more productive work day and your kids to have better focus in school. The study continues to state that a morning run combined with brief light intensity walking breaks throughout the day can even increase your short term memory according to the study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
3: Everyone Will Get Hurt From Running At Some Point
As stated earlier, running has many benefits for your health. Sometimes, just like any other exercise, you may see adverse effects from running, but many of these can be prevented. Every year, thousands of runners will experience issues like runner’s knee or shin splints. Often, these conditions are not from running itself, but from other issues such as bad technique, muscle imbalances, improper footwear, or not enough recovery.
Luckily, physical therapists can help you be sure that you are starting off on the right foot when you are running. They work with runners of all ages to identify these underlying issues, and then through assessments and exercises, they can address the true source of the pain. That way, you can just put the focus back on running.
4: Running Can Be Done at Any Age
Of course, apart from any other underlying conditions, running is an excellent exercise for people of any age. In fact, there are various studies that show that many recreational runners may not reach their peak performance until their fifties. So, whether you are 10, 25, or 65 running may just be the perfect exercise for you.
Be sure to talk to your doctor beforehand, and consult with a physical therapist if necessary, and then have fun on your next run!