The Pros And Cons Of Running
Running on the road, treadmill or at the park near your house is a sure way to get one’s heartbeat racing. But is it a great way to shape up or a pathway to trouble?
Running – The Pros
Heart Disease And Weight Control
Dr Peter Schnohr, chief cardiologist of the Copenhagen City Heart Study says, the strenuous activity of jogging offers great heart benefits than walking.
“It increases oxygen uptake to improve cardiac function, lowers blood pressure and increases insulin sensitivity”.
His team calculated that joggers live five to seven years longer than non-joggers. Jogging also helps shed those kilos.
Jogging increases loading on the femur, boosting femoral bone mass density (BMD). And you don’t need to run daily to see results.
“Among our study’s joggers, 47% ran eight or fewer times a month yet still had higher BMD than non-joggers,” says researcher Michael Mussolino from US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
German neuroscientists from the University of Ulm found that 30 minutes jogging sessions 3 times a week significantly improved concentration and visual memory.
“The runners who had taken the sis week jogging course made fewer mistakes and could complete the tests much more precisely,” says researcher Ralf Reinhardt. It’s thoughts intense exercise manufacturers new hippocampus cells and protects existing ones.
A study at Oregon Health Sciences University found almost all joggers experience mental and emotional benefits from their exercise.
Running – The Cons
A UK study found that for every mile a woman runs, her breasts bounced 135m, leading to irreversible breast sag. Sports bras reduce bounce by 78%.
A study at the Medical University of Graz in Autria found 210 distance runners had more solar lentigines and lesions suggestive of basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas compared to non-runners. Sun exposure was not the only factor.
“There is good evidence that high-intensity training such as running can lead to suppressed immune function,” says researcher Dr Christina Ambros Rudolph.
Trauma sustained during extreme exercise stimulates cytokines, proteins that can suppress cell immunity and leave athletes susceptible to infection.
Running loads the lower joints with more than four times the body’s weight. However, MRIs show that running causes less joint-cartilage damage than once thought.
“Most likely, running has no influence on joint damage, but people with existing deformities, previous joint damage, obesity and malalignment need to be careful,” says Dr Erik Hohmann, director of the musculoskeletal research unit at Australia’s Central Queensland University.
“Running increases impact loading and, in these cases, will speed up osteoarthritis,” he says.
Running – The Verdict
Miles for miles, jogging generally burns about 25% more kilojoules than walking. However, jogging exert extreme force on the lower joints, so walking may be a better option for overweight people or those with hip, knee or foot complaints.
People with underlying heart conditions should also steer clear of this activity. A recent Medical Journal of Australia report notes the incidence of sudden death from heart failure is seven times higher in men during jogging than during more moderate activities. That said, cardiovascular events from jogging are still rare and are usually associated with pre-existing problems.
It’s another reason to get yourself thoroughly checked out before and during any rigorous fitness plan.