“You are killing your knees. I hate to think of you one day stuck in a wheelchair, unable to walk, because of all the damage you are doing to your knees and joints from all this running.”
That one is from my mom. The concern is well intended. I understand. I have had numerous knee injuries in the past that allow for concern to be warranted.
My mom is just one person though. If you run, chances are that like me, you have heard the gamut of different reasons why running is bad for you. I even went to the Dr. to get medically cleared before running a marathon after I read the article in the Wall Street Journal that suggested eating cheeseburgers was better for my health than endurance running.
This research suggested that although running is good for your health in that it lowers cholesterol, improves blood pressure, boosts overall health, but those effects start to diminish after running 30 miles a week to the point they are hurting ones cardiovascular health. It has been found that overall running effects still outweigh the risk of harm, and those effected by cardiovascular issues of running seem to have an undetected underlying heart issue or recovering from one.
I am Forty now. Things are going well, and I want them to keep going well for me when I am Fifty, Sixty, Seventy, etc.
The good news, my knees do not hurt. Even after my numerous injuries to both of them. Yes, I agree – running on paved surfaces puts extra stress on my joints. But running has allowed me to lose weight. I lowered my BMI and THAT puts less stress on my joints. A study conducted at Baylor University looked at knee osteoarthritis in older runners. What did they find? Runners had LESS knee pain than non-runners. Why? Their BMI’s were generally lower as a result from exercise – you know, running.
I do have problems with my feet. I am stiffer. I need to STREEEETTTTTCCCCHHH. As I age I am more prone to injuries, so I need to listen to my body and pull back when an ache begins. If I do get injured, it will take me longer to heal. And I have to got to take rest days. I have said it before, and I will say it again:
Running and I are buddies. I try my hardest to get to spend time with my buddy. I like to spend a lot of time with my buddy. But if we are going to get along for a long time, we have to take breaks from each other.
Me + Running = a life of healthy happiness.