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The Benefits of Running or Jogging

Runner at duskWritten by: Joel Mason, DPT, SCS, CSCS

Running or jogging often gets a bad rap. Common misconceptions prevent people from participating, such as the notion that running will ruin your knees. Research shows that people who don’t run actually have more knee concerns particularly if they are sedentary (don’t exercise at all). Many people often feel that runners are crazy to wake up early, battle through pain, fatigue and other ailments. Why would anyone want to put their body through such abuse?

For some, the answer is simply the love of competition. But for many others they have discovered or are experiencing some of the many other benefits of running. Runners tend to feel good after a run. In a study by Dr. John Griest at the University of Wisconsin, 167 college students with depression were asked to wrestle, jog, do various other exercises, play tennis or play softball. Those who jogged saw the greatest decrease in their level of depression.

Running has also been found to improve insulin sensitivity in diabetics and help prevent some types of cancer. In regard to heart conditions, joggers were found to improve their good to bad cholesterol ratio even when continuing to eat a diet high in fat.

Now you may be asking yourself “how do I get started in a running/jogging program?” First, you want to have the proper equipment. You will need a quality pair of running shoes; a pair that is designed to absorb the impact of running and breathability to let hot air out. You will be more comfortable if you wear clothes made of moisture wicking material to pull sweat away from your body; this will also help reduce chafing. Second, you will want to find a program or develop a plan for starting out. Even if you are not training for a race, there are many “couch to 5K” programs that include a run/walk pattern to increase your running stamina. Here is the link for the couch to 5K program.  http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/2/2_3/181.shtml

About Agnesian Bone and Joint Health

Patients receive individualized assessment and treatment within the Agnesian Bone & Joint Health’s continuum of care, from diagnosis to rehabilitation. The team features board-certified orthopedic surgeons, podiatric medicine and surgery (foot and ankle), physical therapists, athletic trainers and physical therapy assistants. The rehabilitation staff at Agnesian HealthCare’s Sports, Spine & Work Center specializes in one-on-one treatment in state-of-the-art facilities.

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