Running can be one of the best ways to get in shape and improve your life. As well as being free (other than the clothing and shoes you’ll need), running is one of the best forms of cardio there is, and it also allows you to get outside and meet new people.
If you are new to running, however, you may be concerned that this activity can be fairly high impact on your joints. Taking good care of your body – especially your legs – is crucial if you want to be able to keep on enjoying running and continue working towards your fitness goals.
Why Can Running Be Bad for Your Knees?
Distance running involves repeated shock to the joints as you hit the ground over and over, often for hours at a time. Your body is designed to be able to cope with this, but it can be easy to run with bad form or without the right shoes, and end up putting serious strain on your knees. In reality, even people with existing knee injuries can run, once those injuries have been rehabilitated, but it is important to take the right care of your knees while you are doing it.
A lot of people believe they can’t run, even if they are fairly fit and do other sports. Running can feel very uncomfortable and unpleasant if you don’t have the proper form, and this puts some people off. If you don’t have a personal trainer to help you with your form when you are starting out, you can learn a lot simply by watching videos on YouTube about the correct way to run, and adjusting your running posture based on some expert advice. Running with good form should feel comfortable, and will allow you to keep going for a length of time befitting your current fitness level, as well as working towards better fitness. Proper form is also vital in keeping your knees safe while you do it.
Although they can seem expensive, running shoes are a must if you want to run. Experts like the knee care specialists at Kneecare Clinics strongly recommend that you make sure the running shoes you buy are suited to the type of running you want to do. Shoes designed for sprinting at high speed on a track are different from those designed for trail running or long-distance running. The right running shoes will not only help defend your knees from shock but also protect your ankles and hips, helping to prevent injury and also longer-term wear and tear on these important joints.
Running is a very healthy thing to take up, and can be a lot of fun, but you always need to make sure you are well informed about proper form and are using the right equipment to avoid long term damage or acute injury to your knees. Have fun learning about running, and enjoy getting out there and racking up the miles!