(Natural News) New scientific study debunks the myth that running can destroy your knees. In fact, going for a run is good for your knees, as long as you are healthy and do not have an existing knee injury.
For the study, researchers recruited healthy participants under 30 years old because they wanted to determine a way to isolate the specific effects of running on the knees. They instructed all participants to either run or just sit for 30 minutes. After these activities, they collected the participant’s blood and knee fluid samples in order to look for cells that are associated with knee inflammation, which add to the development of knee arthritis.
After analyzing the samples, results revealed that the knees of the runners displayed much lower levels of the inflammatory and arthritis-marker cells. On the other hand, those who were seated for 30 minutes also exhibited changes in the cells in their knees, but they were negative changes. The fluid samples from the knees of these participants suggested that they might be more likely to develop arthritis later on.
The effect of running on the knees can be likened to the effects of weight-training exercises. Studies have shown that lifting weights increases both muscle and bone mass, strengthening them over time. During a weightlifting session, the muscles undergo thousands of minuscule tears in their fibers, which then regrow and fix themselves. However, the tissue is building more mass and becoming stronger and healthier in the process.
The same thing happens to the structures that comprise the knee joint. When running, the impact of body weight on the knee joints seems to trigger the cartilage in the knee to repair minor damages, at the same time, releasing certain chemicals in the cartilage that helps to make it stronger.
If you do not fit into the “young and healthy” category, you may need to consider some things before you start going for a run. Running caution should be taken by the following people:
- Those who have a knee injury, especially if it needed surgical repair, as the knee joints may not have the optimal working capacity they used to have.
- Those who are 20 pounds or more overweight, because running with extra body weight put stress on the joints which greatly increases the risk of knee inflammation and injury. It is best to lose the extra weight first through non-weight bearing exercises until the body weight reaches a point that is safe for the joints to support.
The benefits of running
Running is known to be a great way to get into shape, but it offers more benefits than that. It can benefit almost all parts of the body and lift one’s mood. Here are several reasons to not skip a run next time:
- Running boosts overall health — Research has shown that running can improve overall health, increasing levels of good cholesterol, and simultaneously improve lung function and use. It can also strengthen the immune system and cut the risk of developing blood clots. (Related: Study finds running for just 5 minutes daily increases longevity, has several health benefits.)
- Running lowers the risk of diseases — Running can help to prevent diseases, such as breast cancer, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and osteoporosis.
- Running boosts your confidence — By setting and achieving goals through running, you boost your self-esteem and confidence. Your running goals can give you a greater sense of empowerment.
- Running relieves stress and prevents depression — During a run, your body is forced to produce hormones and energy that naturally improve your mood.
Read more news stories and studies on health and exercise by going to Slender.news.