Running is a great exercise that provides a total body fitness not offered by many activities. It helps strengthen your heart, lungs, blood circulation and your leg muscles. Unfortunately, running also poses a very serious problem due to the stress it puts on the knees. If you’re looking for ways to reduce the amount of stress running places on your knees, try the following:
Consider losing excess weight
If you are overweight and want to be a runner, be very careful. Running in general places a lot of stress on the knees. Having excess weight as a runner puts almost double the amount of stress on your knees. To help protect your knees and reduce energy loss it may be in your best interest to lose weight using another form of exercise before you begin running. Remember: Every pound of excess weight you lose will allow you to reduce the load on your knees while running by 3-4 pounds.
Wear a High Quality Shoe
If you are a runner or plan to start, one of the first things you should to do is purchase a high quality running shoe. A high quality running shoe will provide you with proper balance, while working to reduce shock to your foot/ankle and knees during your run. Your shoe also has to be the correct size to help provide total comfort and support. Some may think that you need to spend a lot of money in order to get a quality running shoe, but that is not correct. Of course I do not advise you to eliminate a shoe from your options solely because of price. Do your research and try on a variety of shoes based on your needs, performance, function and comfort. Once you narrow your selections down check different stores, and search online to see who has the best deal for your wallet.
Run on softer surfaces
The intense pounding your knees experience from running on hard surfaces is more shocking than soft surfaces. Instead of the sidewalk or asphalt, try running on the grass instead. Some other options for softer surfaces you can run on include the beach (sand) or at home on a treadmill.
Warm-up is a very important part of any type of exercise you do. Before you start running, stretch your knees and lower body. Stretching will help you increase flexibility, endurance, and help reduce stiffness and cramping. Do not overstretch because that could result in injury.
Always talk to a medical consultant before starting a new exercise routine or if you have any health care-related questions.
Written by: Jamacia Magee, FizzNiche Writer