Benefits of running: for whom and why?

What could possibly push so many people to take up running? Besides the fact that it is an easily accessible activity and that practicing a sport is beneficial for your health , why choose running?

WHY RUN?

It has long been thought that running could be damaging to the knees and demanding on the body. These are false beliefs! Scientific studies show that running has extraordinary benefits and reduces your risk of developing all kinds of diseases such as osteoporosis and even cancer!

The latest research is pretty clear on this. Running is not harmful to the skeleton, on the contrary! It is beneficial for the body, which needs repeated mechanical stress to strengthen itself.

Repeated ground impact will not only prevent the onset of osteoporosis, but it will also strengthen your cartilage and even prevent osteoarthritis. Which means running is good for your knees !

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF RUNNING?

They are multiple:

  1. Strengthen your joints, muscles and bones
  2. Preventing Osteoporosis
  3. Stimulate your blood circulation
  4. Control or prevent certain diseases, including cardiovascular diseases
  5. Improve your health and fitness
  6. Reduce stress, clear your mind and promote good sleep

However, it is essential to do it very gradually! The body adapts if the mechanical stress suffered by the skeleton is not greater than the adaptive capacity of the body tissues.

To avoid injury, progressiveness is key . The structures that are used during running have a fairly slow capacity to adapt, given the low vascularization of these tissues (e.g. tendons, cartilage, etc.). You must then give your body time to adapt to the repeated impact. We must give it time to strengthen itself! But how do you know what pace to adopt?

Before running, you must first be able to walk for 30 minutes and do it frequently (four times a week would be ideal).

START RUNNING

If you want to start running, you can go this way:

  1. Start by incorporating three separate 1-minute running sessions into your 30-minute walk.
  2. Add a running sequence to each walk.
  3. Progress up to 15 sequences of 1 minute of running then 1 minute of walking alternating.
  4. Then, do three sequences of 2 minutes of running then 1 minute of walking.
  5. Do one more sequence with each walk until they fill every 30 minutes.
  6. Follow the same principle to progress to 3 minute, 4 minute, 9 minute and 14 minute running sequences.
  7. Always increase one sequence at a time.
  8. At this rate, within 12 weeks you will be able to run for 30 minutes continuously!

If you are already a runner or want to push yourself further, it is highly recommended to increase your running time by no more than 10% per week. Otherwise, you greatly increase your risk of injury.

Remember to listen to your body! If you develop pain, do not stop completely. It is best to only go back one or two steps. Each person is unique and adapts at their own pace.

LEARNING TO RUN: FROM TECHNIQUE TO SHOE

Two simple tips to remember and do to have good technique. You have to take small steps and try to be as light as possible on your steps.

To do this, from the beginning, impose a cadence of about 3 steps per second (180 steps/minute) on yourself and try to make as little noise as possible on the ground while running. You can also imagine yourself running barefoot on a very hard surface. These little tips will help reduce your impact on the ground and, as a result, reduce the mechanical stress imposed on your joints.

Now, what should you put in your feet? It is important to know that man is made to run. You have everything you need to run, from head to toe! It is important, especially if you are new to running, to have a shoe close to the feel of the ground. A shoe with as few interfaces and as little reinforcement as possible in the shoe. This applies to the majority of runners!

Overprotecting the foot leads to long-term weakening of the foot. If you have a shoe that supports you too much, it’s like having a lumbar belt to protect your back when you do an activity.

In this situation, it is obvious that you will weaken your back muscles. So, it’s the same for your feet. Make them work, they will get stronger! Your knees and back will thank you for stronger feet!

In addition, practicing regular physical activity will help control or even prevent many morbid diseases such as high blood pressure and other heart problems. Therefore, running can help you control your medication.

In summary, run! It’s for everyone and good for you! Your body will thank you and you will enjoy life to the fullest. Just make sure you take it gradually, minute by minute and respect your body, it will speak to you! Run often (more than 3 times a week), with small steps, and stay light on your feet in a simple shoe. Now you will be how to practice smart jogging!

Abbas Jahangir

I am a researcher and writer with a background in food and nutritional science. I am the founder of Foodstrend.com, our reputable online platform offering scientifically-backed articles on health, food, nutrition, kitchen tips, recipes, diet, and fitness. With a commitment to providing accurate and reliable information, we strive to empower our readers to make informed decisions about their health and lifestyle choices. Join us on Foodstrend.com's journey toward a healthier and happier lifestyle.

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