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When I once asked one of my clients if he runs, he said "If you see see me running...run, because there's something really wrong!"
People either love or hate running as a sport, but with so many benefits and no special equipment needed there's no reason you can't give it a try.
When you run, you basically use every single muscle in your body. But more importantly, it has been shown to have a huge effect in lifting mood and clearing the mind.
No matter if your goals are to lose weight or to simply increase your fitness and health, you can utilise running to hasten the process and achieve your goals faster.
Medically, your lung capacity, muscle oxidative capacity, and good cholesterol level increase. Your blood sugar is regulated, your immune system becomes more tolerant and the risk of blood clot leading to heart attack and stroke is reduced.
Now we do need to acknowledge that when we run, our joints have to tolerate more impact compared with when we walk. Different sources say the impact ranges from 4 to 6 times our body weight. But everyone is different, so the level of impact is totally dependent on the individual and their gait.
The good news is there is no evidence backing up the correlation between running and osteoarthritis.
If you are carrying a mechanical injury such as back, knee or achilles pain which is specifically aggravated by running, you may need to get some advice. Running assessments and applying small gait modifications can make a significant difference to the way you run and your musculoskeletal wellbeing.
If you have a medical condition such as certain heart issues or irregular blood pressure, you should consult your GP prior to picking up running as a sport.
Running may not be everyone's cup of tea at first, but knowing how beneficial it can be your your overall wellbeing should be all you need to get out and give it a go.
- Al Kosh