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3 Myths – About Running and Your Health

By on Jan 28, 2018 in Baby Boomers, HEALTH AND WELLNESS |

Every person who takes up running has, at one time or another, been confronted by a helpful critic who is more than happy to reel off the reasons running will ruin your life. It will cripple you in your later years; you might drop dead in the middle of a marathon; and on and on. As an avid runner, I have a lot riding on whether or not these ideas about the sport are true. Here is a look at four questionable claims about running and health, including results from a new study looking at running, longevity, and disability.

1. Running will give you a heart attack or other heart problems. It is true that exercise temporarily raises the odds of a heart attack while you’re mid-workout, but doing it consistently reduces that risk over the long haul, leading to a net benefit.

2. Running will ruin your bones and joints. A study in the August issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found no evidence of accelerated rates of osteoarthritis among long-distance runners when compared with healthy nonrunners. “We used to say that osteoarthritis came from wear and tear. That’s now revised to say that is can result from tear but not wear,” says James Fries, emeritus professor of medicine at the Stanford University School of Medicine and senior author of the study. Moreover, weight-bearing exercise like running helps stave off osteoporosis by maintaining bone mineral density.

3. Running will kill you before your time. According to a study published this week in the Archives of Internal Medicine, running and other vigorous exercise in middle age is associated with a longer life.

Source: U.S. News

Dr. Wegmann

Dr. Michael Wegmann’s Thoughts:

Running is extremely good for the body. My wife was an avid runner when I met her, I was not. Here is what I learned about running, maybe it can help you. Most people complain running is very painful and not enjoyable.

There are two main reasons for this problem. First; your breathing reflex is not triggering right. Proper breathing happens when you take a breath in; the pelvic diaphragm should trigger first; the thoracic diaphragm should trigger second and the lungs should fill up from the bottom up. People with an improper breathing reflex trigger high in the chest and the breath moves down the spine the wrong direction. These people have major breathing problems. Running becomes nearly impossible, and cardio has the same feeling. These people simply are not getting enough oxygen to support the exercise. Some common reasons for an improper breathing reflex can be smoking, prescription drug use, nerve interference.

The second reason running can be very painful is the foot strike on the ground is not proper. Many amateur runners land with a heel strike when jogging. This will make running extremely unpleasant. Here’s why; when you land heel first your leg is fully extended thus creating major axial force on the ankles, knees, hip and low back joints. Essential what you are doing with a heel strike is slowing the body’s momentum each time you take a step. In order to land on you heel, you have to place that leg in front of you pelvis (i.e. your center of mass). Each step is a jarring step stopping your forward progress.. Most people who run like this will eventually stop running.

The proper way to jog is to land on the balls of your feet. This takes major leg strength and some time to get used to. All competitive long distance runners have trained themselves to be able to do this for the entire race. Here’s what running on the balls of your feet does. First it makes your contact point with the ground under or straight below your pelvis. Now each step is propelling you forward, instead of stopping your momentum. Second it shortens the time your foot is on the ground, which translates into much faster times. Good luck getting started, and remember start on the balls of your feet.