One of the greatest misconceptions about running is the belief that running is bad for your knees and joints, especially long-distance running, which gets a really bad press in this regard. Check out our man George’s ultra running experience with a 50km race through Singapore here.
However, fitness author and physicist Alex Hutchings is a firm believer in the positive benefits of running: “Pretty much every study that looks at runners and knee problems, whether it’s a multi-decade longitudinal study or a massive cross-sectional study, has found that runners have no elevated risk of knee osteoarthritis and perhaps even have lower risk (likely due to running’s role in minimising weight gain).”
Even first-time marathon runners showed no change in knee cartilage after six months of running.
There is evidence that Alpine skiing, weightlifting and gymnastics can cause long term knee damage due to stress loading, but certainly not jogging.
A far bigger risk factor for both knee injuries and heart attacks does not involve running 10km races or ultra-marathons; it is being over-weight. Next time you see some couch potato tucking into a packet of crisps in front of the television, feel free to utter the classic warning: “You’ll wreck your knees doing that”.
Feeling inspired to head off for a jog now? Check out all the ultra running events around Singapore here.