Benefits of Running : Part 2 | Great Health Guide
Benefits of Running : Part 2

Benefits of Running : Part 2

Written by Margarita Gurevich & Charlotte Allen

Welcome back! Hopefully you have learnt a little about the benefits of jogging from Benefits of Running: Part 1, published in the September/October issue of Great Health GuideTM.

Recapping on the pros in Benefits of Running in Part 1:

                     1.  It improves heart health

                     2.  It strengthens the musculoskeletal system

                     3.  It improves mental health

In Part 2, let’s have a look at some cons, and discuss whether they outweigh the pros… (hint, usually they don’t).

Getting started with a new running program has been associated with only a few negatives. The main con is musculoskeletal injury. This correlation increases with increasing weekly mileage i.e., the more distance you cover in your jog the higher your risk of injury.

“Low impact forms of exercise will condition your body initially.”

Bone stress injury (more common in females) and tendinopathies or tendon inflammation (more common in males) are two common injuries seen in runners. The good news is that both of these injuries present through either incorrect technique or over training, and your physiotherapist or Exercise Physiologist is equipped to help you avoid them through a progressive and tailored program.

The key here is to assess where you are starting from, so be realistic. Increase slowly yet consistently and be proactive with your recovery between sessions.

For example, if you are starting from scratch:

In the first week:

  • head out on three 15-minute walks,

  • after each walk, give your leg muscles (calves, quads, glutes and hamstrings) a stretch,

  • drink plenty of water.

In the following week:

  • increase one or two of your walks to 20 minutes,

  • on a third walk, you might decide to head up that steep hill at the end of your street, this adds intensity to the walk,

  • always drink plenty of water.

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If you are prone to the overuse injuries that we discussed above, you can always supplement one or two of your weekly sessions with low impact forms of exercise such as cycling or swimming until you condition your body to tolerate more running gradually.

So how can we avoid injury while still gaining the multitude of benefits that are so clear to us? Reach out to your local exercise specialist to help you with a tailored program (if you have any previous conditions or injuries, please also consult your GP) and get started!

Author of this article:
Margarita Gurevich is Senior Physiotherapist and uses Clinical Pilates, SCENAR Therapy & other evidence-based techniques, including Real Time Ultrasound and McKenzie Treatment. Margarita specialises in sports injuries, women’s health (including incontinence) and gastrointestinal issues. 
Charlotte Allen is an exercise physiologist and has extensive experience in assessment and exercise prescription for management and treatment of injuries, pain and chronic disease. She has over eight years of experience working with clients to achieve their goals both in the fitness industry as well as the clinical environment.
Margarita & Charlotte may be contacted via the Health Point Physiotherapy website.

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