Concern has been expressed that running is bad for your knees. Recent research from Australia’s Monash University suggests the impact from running actually can increase cartilage production, which assists in the prevention of arthritis.
The need for knee replacements was thought, in the past, to be linked to those who have been highly involved in sports.
But in a 2008 Study from Stanford University, running showed no increase in arthritis. Studies have shown an association between obesity with knee and joint deterioration, requiring artificial replacement.
There are other associated benefits of running, as well.
Weight-bearing exercises have been shown to assist in the prevention of bone fractures and osteoporosis. Exercise has also shown to generate muscle cells and growth as well.
Researchers from Bellarmine University studied hearing in women and noted those who were very fit had six-per-cent greater hearing then those who were less fit. With physical exercise, the cardiovascular system maintains its ability to supply blood and oxygen to organs and tissues, thus the maintenance of good hearing for those women.
Brainpower has also been shown to increase and be preserved with exercise. Physical fitness is also known to decrease pain and, in a recent study from the University of Gothenburg, researchers noted a significant reduction in migraines for those working out at least 40 minutes, three times a week.
Anxiety and depression is no different. Researchers from Southern Methodist University suggested running supported decreased negative reactions to stress and challenges in life.
Stress is not uncommon for many of us and exercising is a great way to reduce the negative side effects without medical interventions.
A study of men showed those who were physically fit were least likely to die from cancers, especially GI and lung.
Now, you can argue people who are fit still have health challenges. However, it is clear when you look at our communities, there are more and more people who are not fit, and the rates of preventable diseases keep rising.
Compared to past generations, life today is far different, starting with the amount of physical activity.
More and more, we sit at desks doing our work. Our diets often consist of fast foods. The stress in our work and professional lives, for some, is unbearable.
A ton of research shows that exercise, whether it is walking or running, supports many positive health benefits.
It comes down to your commitment to you. Start with baby steps — walk first, then run. Enjoy being out in the beautiful community we live in.
Karen Hourtovenko, RN(EC), is a Sudbury-based health and wellness consultant.