Is Running Really Bad For Your Knees?


We know that running is good for the heart amongst many other health benefits, but we’ve also probably heard how running can do some serious damage to your health – specifically joint problems as you age. Are you planning to get in shape through running? Or are you a seasoned runner that has experienced some slight discomfort in your joints? Running puts a lot of stress on the joints, especially the knees where they absorb most of the impact. So, running regularly must be bad for the knees such as increasing your risk for arthritis or osteoporosis, right? 

On the contrary, recent research done on participants after a 30-minutes run seem to contradict the belief that running is bad! Running might even reduce inflammation in your joints! Researchers took blood samples from participants after the run and the data shows promising results. However, as these are taken immediately after the run, there can be no conclusive findings that running can help to enhance your joints in the long-run.

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But for now, research suggests that developing arthritis or osteoporosis has more to do with your genes and your diet and lifestyle. If you have an unhealthy diet and an inactive lifestyle, this would likely add pressure to your meniscal cartilage when you run or walk. As the meniscal cartilage which acts as a cushion between your bones wear down over time, the friction between your bones will increase, resulting in arthritis.  

But why do we hear so many runners reportedly sustaining injuries from running? The high numbers of runners with joint injury reported actually has more to do with their poor running form than the exercise itself. For example, landing too hard on the ground. Did you know that your body takes up to two to three times of your weight with each step? Landing hard on the ground will further increase the impact. Instead of landing heavily, trying landing softly and springing off with each step. 

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Another common reason for sustaining injuries is having the wrong shoes for the job. Doctors recommend choosing running shoes with a good cushioning, not those ultra-light ones which are dominating every shelf. Do not choose sports shoes which are labelled for training too as they do not have enough cushioning to help absorb the impact. A good pair of running shoes will last you the mile, giving you the cushioning you need and also the proper support you need for your arch so you can run in proper form! 

The speed you’re running at also affects your joint health. If you’re a beginner, start with a proper running training program to gradually build up your stamina to run longer distance instead of jumping straight into running 5k from the start. Pushing yourself too hard or too fast can lead to stress fractures. Do not neglect your rest days too – they are the key to protecting your knees as they allow enough time for your knees to recover. 

So, don’t let the fear of joint health deter you from running! If you sustain some joint injuries before or if you’re unsure running is suitable for you, you can consult your doctor beforehand.

To maintain healthy joints or if you are already experiencing joint discomfort, you can consider taking a daily supplement like Bone & Joint Restoration: It is specially formulated with a blend of GAG & Collagen II, glucosamine, calcium and MSM to prevent loss of bone mass by retaining calcium in bones and also repair and promote the growth of cartilages.

Bone & Joint Restoration (60 capsules)

Containing calcium, glucosamine, GAG as well as Collagen II, this formulation works to facilitate absorption by bones and joints for an optimal bone and joint health. 

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