Benefits & Risks of Running


New Member
10 Jul 2011
Health benefits of running
Running has been shown to have the following health benefits:

- lower levels of body fat and obesity;
- lower risk of heart disease and stroke;
- stronger bones, reducing the risk of osteoporosis, osteoarthritis and other bone deficiencies;
- reduced risk of diseases such as cancer and diabetes;
- improved immune system;
- stronger muscles, and less risk of degradation of joints;
- reduced risk of back pain;
- reduced incidence of depression and anxiety;
- increased coordination and mobility, especially in older adults.

Health risks from running

The long-term impact on joints of running has not been especially well researched. Such evidence as there is suggests that people who have run consistently over many years have a lower risk in later life of joint problems such as arthritis than their sedentary counterparts.

However, running is more likely to put stress on your joints than swimming, cycling or skiing, because of the repeated impact of hitting the ground. These risks can be reduced by using good quality and appropriate running shoes, running on softer surfaces such as grass or trails when possible, and by starting running slowly.

As for the heart, the evidence is unambiguous: runners are less likely than non-runners to suffer from heart disease. Admittedly, if a runner is going to have a heart attack (e.g. because of an inherited predisposition to heart disease) then it more likely to happen while they are running than at other times of day, since this is when their heart is under most stress.