If you enjoy regular running, you already know that the activity is great exercise. There is simply no substitute for heading out and enjoying the scenery, all while you burn calories and keep your heart pumping. But what about your knees?
There is no question that running puts enormous pressure on your knees, almost inconceivably so, depending on how much you weigh. Surely all that pressure must be bad for the joints, potentially leading to problems later in life?
Hang on. Before you stop running because you believe it may ruin your knees, let’s take a closer look at the facts. Either way, even if you do decide to give up running, there are plenty of other forms of exercise.
Running May Improve Knee Health
What happens to your knee when you run? The joints do indeed absorb pressure, as much a 4 pounds for every pound that you weigh. This results in an increase of natural fluids to the knee, helping to increase lubrication. It might sound like a bad thing, but is actually very good for overall knee health. The increase in natural lubrication has a significant role in reducing the risk of knee arthritis.
So all good news, right? Not exactly. While running is fantastic exercise, and can actually improve knee health, there are risks involved. If your knees hurt after you run, it’s probably time to take a look at how exactly you’re running. Knee pain is, simply put, not a good sign.
It’s All About Posture
The real key to running is making sure you have the correct posture. If your running posture is poor it will, inevitably, result in problems. Weak hips or thighs, for example, put irregular stress on the knee, eventually resulting in injury. So it isn’t the running itself that is bad for your knees, but rather running in a way that the body wasn’t designed to move.
Hence, maintaining your posture should be a big part of your running schedule. It is best to correct your posture immediately, should you detect any problems, lest you land up locked into a posture that is hurting your body.
When Is It Time To Pause?
If your knees are hurting, and the pain increases when you run, it is time to take a break. Of course, you don’t want to stop, but the reality is that you can ruin your knees for life. Don’t worry, you don’t have to give up running entirely; just until the injury has healed. Take a few weeks off, enjoy some pokies for real money, and get back running later.
Importantly, when you do get back to running pay special attention to your posture. Try to figure out how you injured your knee in the first place, fix the problem, and avoid future injuries. If you can’t figure out what you’re doing wrong, absolutely visit a specialist. You don’t want to risk injuring your knees in a way that will require surgery.