Today’s daily news email from Runner’s World discusses a topic I hear mentioned a lot.
Anyone who runs has probably heard these sentiments from well-meaning friends countless times:
“Running is bad for your knees”
“Running is hard on your joints”
“You won’t be able to walk when you’re old”
“You shouldn’t run so much, it’s not healthy”
“You shouldn’t run so far, it’s not healthy”
“You’re obviously injured because running is bad for you, not because you weren’t smart about it“
Basically, the Sports Doc states what most runners already know…there is no solid research to support that running causes damage to knees.
Running isn’t bad for you. It’s how you participate that determines whether you hurt yourself.
If you don’t take care of yourself (“pre-hab” is my favorite term!), you might get injured. If you don’t take care of an injury, you might have problems down the road. If you don’t pay attention to body signals, don’t warm-up, don’t rest, don’t strengthen, you might get hurt. IF YOU DON’T do these things…you might have problems.
Like any sport: this article in the New York Times discusses “How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body”.
It basically says that if you do it wrong, you can hurt yourself. But, again, that’s relevant to any sport, running included. If you try to do something (especially exercise related) and you don’t have proper guidance, form, strength, etc…yes, it’s risky.
It’s easy for someone, even a doctor, to tell you to stop running. Oftentimes it’s the first thing you’re told to stop doing if you have any sort of issue. Yes, rest is good. Rehab is good. Doctors are ridiculously smart. But when someone goes so far as to automatically say “stop running FOREVER” without looking deeper into the situation, I don’t like that.
Just because I want to run in rain or in snow, early in the morning or late at night, long distances, on a Saturday morning, on vacation, when I don’t really “want” to but do because I’m training, in cold weather, or during happy hour (not at all the same time, ha!) doesn’t mean I’m crazy, insane, “addicted to exercise” or mentally unstable. I’m just passionate. I know when to rest and when to push myself.
Try reading this article regarding research that’s been done on this very topic. Dr. Chang thinks running can help make cartilage stronger:
“Jonathan Chang, an orthopedic surgeon in Alhambra, Calif., says that exercise appears to stimulate cartilage to repair to minor damage. It could be that the impact of body weight when the foot hits the ground increases production of certain proteins in the cartilage that make it stronger, he says. This is similar to the way exercise, in particular weight-bearing exercise like jogging, increases bone and muscle mass.”
Or, for another bloggers opinion, I love this post from The Runner’s Kitchen.
I will leave you with these lovely YouTube clips:
Has anyone told you to stop running? Do people comment on your running habits? Have your knees fallen off yet? Tell me!