FEELING GREAT: Avoid becoming the lazy runner

Paul Gough

Paul Gough

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One of the problems with enjoying going for a run, is that it’s very easy to become lazy.

Not lazy in the physical sense of having to do something, but lazy in the routine that its very easy to fall into.

Running is just too convenient to do. It requires very little thought or planning.

Finish work, head straight home and put your runners on and then out the door you go for a jog along somewhere like the sea front or around West Park and within 30 minutes, your exercise for the day is done and dusted. And the benefits felt.

But the problem is that you then become addicted to the idea that a 30-minute jog, sometimes even less, is all you need to do to keep healthy and feel great.

But have you thought about the impact that pounding the streets of Hartlepool night after night is having upon your joints?

Even with wearing the best trainers, the stress that your putting on your knees and hips is undeniable. But you’re unlikely to notice it until its too late.

Running is great keeping things like your heart and lungs in good shape, but your knees and hips might have to pay the price in the long run.

And it’s the long run, perhaps in 10-15 years, where you’ll find problems.

Right now my physio clinic is packed with runners suffering with injuries like shin splints, IT Band problems, tight achillies muscles and even bad backs caused by too much running, too soon.

You could do yourself and your joints a big favor by considering other ways to keep fit. I talk to my patients regularly about the need to vary things.

Give some muscles a rest, and try working on a few new ones. Swimming might take a little longer to get going, but is great for all round fitness, add in a bike ride once per week and even a session of yoga and pilates and on those nights, your joints are getting a rest from the constant pounding that running brings, but you are still working on your fitness and will feel great.

At very least, consider running on grass or sand midway through your run. Even just changing the surface that you run on will make all the difference in a few years time to the inevitable aches and pains in your knee joints that await if you don’t.