Running is an excellent way to burn calories while maintaining your cardiovascular health. Some people truly enjoy the rush of endorphins they experience during a good run, but many more run simply because it is the most accessible cardio workout available. Given the wide range of people who engage in running as a regular part of routine, there is a lot of available information. Unfortunately, plenty of misinformation is sprinkled throughout, so it is important that we learn to distinguish between scientifically-based knowledge and popular misconceptions. In other words, let’s debunk some top running myths.
If you have specific questions about running and its effects on your body, then there is no better source than your local sports medicine doctor. They are experts in the field who can directly apply their understanding of sports medicine Washington DC to your individual case. By physically examining you and discussing your habits, they will provide personalized medical advice to ensure that you can stay healthy and active. For more general information, here are the top five myths you might have heard about running.
The Top Running Myths
For something as simple as running, there are plenty of top running myths. Below are some of the most common ones. For those with ankle pain DC, come in for an examination.
Myth #1 Walking is just as Good as Running
If you are unable to run for any reason, then walking is a good alternative. You will burn calories, and you can even increase your heart rate if you maintain a good pace for an extended period. Unfortunately, it is not true that a mile walking will burn the same amount of calories as a mile running. Running is a far more intense activity. As a result, your body continues to burn calories even after your run is over by working hard to remove lactic acid, repair muscle, and replace vital compounds your body needs. This is called afterburn. For those looking for a more intense workout that puts less direct pressure on the joints, you may consider swimming.
Myth #2 Running is bad for your Knees
Running is a high-impact activity. However, the direct link often drawn between running and joint problems is pretty misleading. As with any physical activity, good form and the right equipment are necessary to safely engaging in the sport. Talk with a trainer or sports medicine specialist about your form. They’ll be able to identify tendencies that could potentially result in injury down the line.
Additionally, make sure you’re replacing your running shoes regularly. Experts suggest replacing your running shoes every 300-500 miles before they’ve lost too much shock absorbency. If you’re running two miles five days a week, then you’ll want to replace your shoes every 8-12 months.
Myth #3 Always Stretch Before You Run
When and how you stretch varies from person to person. However, if there is a time to stretch, then it is after your run. Warm muscles respond better to stretching, but remember to be gentle. You should never push yourself to the point where you’re physically in pain. A good stretch is a gradual process that slowly pushes the point of tension further over time. To actually prevent injury, you should warm up before breaking into an all-out run. Walking for a minute and jogging for another minute or so before hitting your stride gives your body a notice to move into exercise mode. Your body temperature will increase as will the blood flow to your muscles. A good warm-up is one of the best ways to prevent injury. Stretching afterward will help to relieve discomfort in the days following.
When Something Isn’t Right
If you’re a runner that is suddenly experiencing discomfort or pain, then you shouldn’t wait to speak with a doctor. Even if your stride just doesn’t feel quite right, then reach out to your local sports medicine doctor. With their help, you can get expert answers to your questions and prevent a little discomfort from turning into a serious injury.