The practice of running is one of the healthiest activities, not only for knee joints but also for the whole body in general. However, misuse or abuse of it could lead to irreparable damage to the knee joint.
It is much more than evident that, in recent years, running has become one of the most popular exercises not only in Latin America but also around the world. But why is this so? Some fitness experts assume that because it is economical since you should not pay for membership in a gym, the short time that this activity requires, and because it allows meditation. The more we practice it, the more it becomes the ideal exercise.
Running is very simple. All we need is comfortable clothing and shoes. It can be done in groups and even professionally, but there are certain things that you should know to avoid repercussions on your health. First, we must be able to recognize our own limitations: previous injuries, malformations, alteration of support axes, age (because starting from the age of 40, the cartilage has already begun to lose its elastic properties), having practiced or not a sport previously, and a very important factor; body weight.
In order to protect your body when running, follow these tips:
Wear suitable shoes and especially shock absorbers. Since most of us perform this activity on asphalt or cement. This reduces the feeling of tiredness in the feet. The study of the tread in running movement, and not in a standing position. It is very important to know how the burden of our weight affects our knees.
Progressive and continuous practice. It is recommended to start for short distances, alternating career periods such as ambulation at first and then a more intense but also smoother race. And above all, do it several days a week in a well-distributed way.
Monitoring your running. For this, it may be interesting to attend a gym for a few months, in such a way that a physical trainer teaches us to run on tape, it also helps to see tutorials.
Warm up before and after physical exercise. Warm-ups following sports activity are recommended to be cold, once the muscles have recovered. In the case of running long distances, then try to think that it is an almost professional activity and that it is advisable to federate to take advantage of the benefits that this offers.
Finally, lose body weight. Most people think that running is an effective activity to lose weight. But to these people, we clarify that it is all about losing weight to run, and not running to lose weight. The impact that the knee joint receives will intensify when our weight is higher, so take this into account to avoid more serious injuries.
As for who suffer mostly knee injuries (between men and women), where women have a lot of disadvantage. And this is because its load axis is different due to the greater width of the pelvis. Your knee is proportionally smaller so it supports more weight per unit area. And also, a smaller muscle mass that dynamically stabilizes this joint.
Other factors are the higher frequency of patellar problems, as well as the higher incidence of genu valgum or X-shaped knees in the female sex. The genu valgum is a deformity characterized in that the thigh and leg are deviated, in the frontal plane, such that they form an outward angle in the femoro-tibial diaphyseal axis.
All this makes the woman’s knee more prone to sports injuries, although much more in contact sports than in running. Another aspect is that -in the margin of sports practice- the degeneration or osteoarthritis of the knee that causes a subsidiary symptomatology of treatment is much more frequent in women. In our Latin American context, women with this condition represent 18% of the population, while in the case of men it corresponds to approximately 10%.
Foods that can help strengthen joints
What you eat before, during, and after a long career can make a difference. Feeding your muscles with the nutrients they need (especially a good source of protein, complex carbohydrates, and essential fats) will help them recover and grow, so you can run faster and longer next time.
Surely you have heard of Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP), which is an energy molecule that we use in the body for many activities. The problem is that ATP reserves are very few for a race, and they only reach for a few seconds. This is why the body begins to use nutrient deposits, basically carbohydrates and fats to reach the goal.
Some general recommendations you can follow: -Include in your daily diet abundant fruits which are an unbeatable source of vitamins, minerals, energy, and fiber.
-Consume high-quality proteins such as milk, chicken, fish and red meats.
-Ensure an adequate amount of complex carbohydrates like rice, pasta, arepa, tubers.
-Prefer healthy preparations to fry.
-Remember the nuts like the peanuts, the hazelnuts, the almonds.
-Do not train without having breakfast!
Finally, a tip and clarification at the same time. So undesirable is to abuse running, as to promote sedentarism for the knees. Now that you know … Come on then; get up and workout!!