The debate over whether or not running is right for your knees or not has been going on for some time now. While most people attest to the fact that running is an effective form of cardio workout, they still harbor fear that it will one day destroy their knees.
Recently a group of researchers took it upon themselves to test whether running does affect your knees. As part of the research, a group of healthy individuals was split into two groups. The first team was instructed to run for 30 minutes while the others sat for a similar amount of time.
Running Can Reduce Knee Inflammation
After the first team finished running, knee fluid and blood samples were taken from each subject. The scientists were testing for the presence of cells linked to knee inflammation. The tests revealed that the knees of the runners showed a much lower presence of inflammatory and arthritis causing cells. On the other hand, the team that sat for 30 minutes and did not take part in jogging had different results. The tests of the fluid samples from their knees showed that they could be victims of knee inflammation later on in life.
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This is bound to raise a few questions especially if one believes in the misconception that running destroys the knees. You might wonder how putting intense pressure on your knees helps them.
How Running Relates to Other Body-Weight Activities
Well, here is one way to look at it. Science has shown that weightlifting exercises do boost muscle growth and bone mass. Interestingly, during a weightlifting routine, your muscle tissues undergo small tears, triggering them to rebuild and repair themselves. During that process, your muscles grow bigger and stronger. This notion is the same also for the tissues making up your knee joints. The pressure from your body weight while you are running causes wear and tear in your knee joints. This, in turn, triggers the growth and strengthening of your knee joints.
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What to Consider Before Taking Up Running
Nonetheless, the results of this study do not eliminate the possibility of injuring your knees because of improper running or lack of precautions. If you are thinking of taking up running as a way of exercising and staying fit, there are some things you ought to consider.
If you are overweight or if you have incurred any injury on your knees before, it is important to be cautious. Additional body mass puts extra pressure on your knee joints and increases the risk of you damaging your knees. If you are obese and are interested in running, it is essential that you first shed the excess weight through other activities that do not involve your entire body weight impacting one joint at a time.
It is also imperative to visit a medical practitioner once you start noticing any inflammation in your knees whether it is painful or not. Additionally, ensure that you get adequate rest after your running sessions.
Running is healthy for your knees. If your physical health is excellent, do not be afraid of hitting the road a few times a week.
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