By WIN Contributor: Tania Mannella, Physiotherapist
I love to run. I head out for a run four to five times a week around Niagara Falls. Its my favourite form of cardio exercise and the ‘runner’s high’ when I finish can’t be beat.
But is it bad for me? Am I hurting my knees, hips, feet, low back?
As a physiotherapist at WIN Health Solutions Niagara many express concerns about running and pounding on my joints, advancing possible arthritis or causing wear and tear on my knees at an increased rate. Despite what many health professionals, runners and non runners think, the evidence based research shows that there is no greater instance of joint issues or osteoarthritis in people who run versus those who do not run.
One study at Boston University of Medicine discovered that running stimulates the cartilage in order to repair damage, increasing the production of certain proteins which makes the knee stronger. Running is not bad for your knees! If you have a genetic predisposition to knee issues, running can potentially bring those issues to the forefront but studies show that running can actually be beneficial for joints, as it strengthens the surrounding musculature and increases bone density.
If that’s not reason enough, here are multiple other reasons to take up running. It improves brain performance, improves mood, improves sleep, improves cardiovascular health, improves your energy levels, increases confidence levels and can actually increase your lifespan. So grab your favourite music, put on your favourite kicks and join me and others from WIN's Niagara Falls Physiotherapy team in this beautiful weather because baby we were born to run!!