Myths and reality on the fastest growing physical activity in the world.
Running is undergoing an unprecedented boom. All kinds of races (5K – 10K – half marathon, full marathon) or combinations with other activities (swimming or biking) have been popping up everywhere.
Some run for fun or because it is “trendy”, others run to fight their stress and others for their health. Indeed, exercise is undoubtedly the cornerstone of a healthy lifestyle. But how much running is enough, what are the real benefits and what are the risks?
How often, how long, how fast is healthy?
The benefit of leisure-time running in cardiovascular risk factor and overall health control is well established. Runners are less likely to experience high blood pressure, cholesterol problems, diabetes, strokes, certain cancers and even arthritis than the barely- or nonrunners.
Is high intensity running harmful?
For someone hoping to become a better, faster runner and potentially get engaged in high intensity activities (e.g. marathon) no additional health benefits should be anticipated, but rather a slightly increased risk for heart problems, as well as for running-related injuries and disabilities.
Is running harmful for my joints?
The idea that running is bad for your knees is a popular fitness myth. Contrary to popular belief, running does not cause arthritis or osteoarthritis later in life. The biggest risk factor for developing osteoarthritis is age and heredity, running or not.
Is running good for weight loss?
Runners have considerably lower prevalence of overweight and obesity than non-runners. While obesity is related to hereditary factors and high-calorie diets, running seems to mitigate their adverse effect on weight.