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RUNNING: help me understand pros & cons

Posted by: Donny


OK, for years now I've heard that running is bad for the joints therefore not the best excercise. I am currently running on a treadmill and it is the only excercise that gets my heart rate up. So, am I doing myself a disservice? Or is the tradeoff worth it? Any insights are much appreicated.

Thank you,

Re: RUNNING: help me understand pros & cons

Posted by: Ken

If you really want to get your heart rate up then try indoor rowing. It is a much better exercise than running. It involves your whole body. I can get my heart rate up much easier with a rower because I am not stressing any one body part over others. It really is the best exercise, if you are going to do only one. Go slow with it at first. It can be hard on the back until your back gets stronger.

Re: RUNNING: help me understand pros & cons

Posted by: Christi


I've been running cross country for a couple years now, and I've also heard that running can be hard on your joints. I think that it is hard on joints but that most exercise is. Running on a treadmill can be harder though because you have to take smaller steps and tend to come down hatrder on them. Running is a very high impact workout and I love it but I hate having to do it on a treadmill!


Re: RUNNING: help me understand pros & cons

Posted by: Christi

I also dread running on my treadmill. Its the only choice I have when it's 20 below zero out, but I also do other aerobics indoors.

For example: I haven't gone running outside for a month because of the unbelievably cold weather, and I went running outside just a couple days ago. Let me tell you what a difference that is from on a treadmill! When I run outside, my quads get more of a workout because I am pushing the ground behind me. But on the treadmill, all you really have to do is lift your feet and the ground moves from underneath, so your not getting as good as a workout unless you have a good incline.

Running outside is a lot more adventerous than the boring treadmill routine.

Re: RUNNING: help me understand pros & cons

Posted by: Anatomist1

The last time I checked, there was no evidence that proper running is bad for one's knees. The only exceptions are if your knees are already damaged, or if you have a congenital predisposition toward arthritis (wearing down of joint cartilidge).

Running is actually GOOD for your knees: it stimulates the production of synovial fluid and puts them to rigorous use. Body parts like to be used. It is also GREAT for your leg and hip bones: the stresses applied induce your bones to become stronger in response. Of course, you already know it's great for your cardiovascular, endocrine and muscular systems.

Running improperly, however, can damage your knees, particularly if you have weak arches and your shoes are allowing them to collapse when your foot lands. Most running problems can be controlled by proper shoe choice, or correcting the weaknesses in your core and hips that cause the foot not to do its job (yoga asana training does this, and it's not about stretching). Video feedback and coaching on running form is also invaluable. A great encyclopedic resource on running is LORE OF RUNNING by Tom Noakes. If one has severe foot problems that can't be corrected with off-the-shelf shoes, one can go to a podiatrist and get a custom orthotic insert made for a reasonable fee.

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