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Is Running Bad for You?

By Sara Butler

There are two types of people in the world: those who love to run and those that hate it (or maybe a third who does both at the same time!). No matter how you feel about running, it’s a sport that tends to get a bad rap. So, what’s the deal? Is running unhealthy for you or is that a rumor people who hate to run started? Here are the most common criticisms of running and the truth behind them.

Running is Bad for the Joints

You often hear this as a reason not to start running, but it’s not really the full truth. You may hear a lot of warnings about what running does to the knees and at first glance, it may seem true due to the fact that running is a high impact activity. But at closer inspection, running actually seems to strengthen bones and joints more than it damages them. High impact activities such as running have been shown in studies to increase bone density, and yet other studies have disproved the idea that running contributes to the development of arthritis.

The key to preventing joint damage is proper form. Slapping our whole foot down on the pavement, again and again, isn’t the best idea. You have to learn the proper foot strike in order to reduce stress and strain on your joints.

Running Will Cause Muscle Loss

When you see those impressive marathoners finish in two hours, or maybe the El Toro Chargers cross-country team running alongside the run during practice, you may notice they tend to be thin people. That’s probably why running is often regarded as an activity that slims you down and reduces muscle mass rather than adding to it. If you train the right way and combine running with strength training, then running will not cause muscle loss.

Running Too Much is Unhealthy

There is a kernel of truth to this one because, let’s face it, you can get too much of a good thing. Some elite runners have had issues with their health due to the high mileage they put their bodies through at a young age. But for most people, it’s virtually impossible to run so much that you experience a negative impact on your health. As long as you listen to your body and do what feels right, you should be OK.

If you're interested in running, discuss it with your chiropractor at The Joint! They can help you start off on the right foot.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Lake Forest, Calif.


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