Do you know any marathon junkie? Well, I do. A long term friend of mine, George Krom, participates in any marathon he comes across. George extols the benefits of running to the skies and in many ways, rightfully so, as running is easily the most convenient, fuss-free, easiest way to get in shape.
However, unknown to George and many running enthusiasts, running can be physically more damaging than other sports like swimming or cycling. Experts warn that by the time joggers realise that excessive running is doing more harm than good to their bodies, they would have sustained injuries that require costly and painful treatments.
Often, runners think that the pain associated with running (especially in the joints) is part of the rigour of the sport. The risk is that as the injury worsens, so does the chance of recovery through simple rehabilitation.
Still, we must highlight that running is a good, healthy sport to indulge in. The purpose of this article is to draw attention to the risks associated with running and how to mitigate them to a safe level.
1. Joint injuries
Your knee and foot joints bear the most of your impact on runs. They are compressed even when we walk. If over-used due to heavy running, the joints can become inflamed, painful and sore. This can lead to serious long-term joint disorders if left unchecked.
Solution: Wear quality, appropriate running shoes. The right shoes can absorb some of the pressure of the joints and go a long way to protect your knees. Good shoes act as shock absorbers – cushioning some of the harsh impact from the feet as they pound on the ground during runs.
If you plan on running on a regular basis, do invest in a quality pair of shoes. You need to change your shoes after about 300-400 miles (approx. 500-650 km) depending on your body weight and running style. Picking the appropriate shoe for your foot type is also important. There is no one shoe that fits all. Your knees and feet will thank you.
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