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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Running is Bad!

At the risk of opening another can of worms from my mysterious friend who claimed he has provided scientific data on why running is bad and I have not; here goes:

..... Dr Bonnie Bruce, the study author, followed more than 500 runners from a local club (called “ever runners” in the study) and 300 inactive people (“never runners”, but not necessarily sedentary) in their 50s and 60s for 14 years. When results from an annual health questionnaire were analysed, Bruce and her colleagues found that the “ever runners”, who ran at least six hours a week on average, experienced less joint pain by their 60s and 70s and only 35% of the joggers got arthritis (compared with 43% of non-runners)......Myth: Running is bad for your knees

....The belief that running is bad for your knees is a myth. In fact, the only runners who ever have bad knees are those who already had knee problems before they started running, have a knee condition they didn’t previously know about, or are using incorrect form when they run..... Why should you run?

.....This research also allows runners to be a little smug, because we now know that despite what scientists and the cynical suggest, running is far from bad for you. The only difference between what our ancestors did and modern man does is that most of us have become a little soft.....Running Evolution

...However, it is also worth noting that because running is a weight bearing exercise, it also stresses the bones of the lower body in a positive way. Weight bearing exercise causes the bones to retain minerals and thus supports the rebuilding/maintenance of strong bones....Running: Advantages & Disadvantages

......There are many factors that cause pain in the knees. The most common cause of knee pain is a muscle imbalance in the quadriceps. This imbalance causes the knee joint to be pulled in a direction in which it isn’t designed to be pulled.....Running is bad for your knees

And I can go on and on but I suspect somebody else will dig out even more anti-running stuff to support his case.

I will end with these posts from a forum (no offence but this is exactly how I feel most time with the 'expert' opinion:

"Exercise and nutrition seem to be two of those areas everyone has an opinion on. Who knows why... Some of the crappy advice never seems to die either. It just spreads like a disease or something... Blah. I always love the "running is bad for you (r knees)". WTF?"

"In every instance where someone has told me that running is bad for me-that person is on medication for at least one of the above mentioned issues. Go figure!!"

"Those who CAN'T (or won't) teach, those who can DO!

"I think they are just another case of people who think they are always right.
They don't it must be bad for you, right? Otherwise they'd be out there doing it too. Or feeling guilty that they're fat and lazy"

All quotes from Runner's World Forum


  1. I love u man!! (sorry i not gay)

  2. Don't worry, I won't waste my time pulling out scientific data and other supporting evidence. If you love your running then you love your running. It makes no matter to me. My original line of questions and discussion on the older threads was merely to insight thinking about the various views on it all.

  3. i'm disappointed that this blog isn't really about how running sucks. oh well.

  4. I am familiar with recent results of the studies concerning longevity or runners and likelihood of them developing osteoarthritis--I am aware that some studies that produced results supportive of running being healthy.

    However, I believe that these studies were severely flawed. Main thing is that the non-running groups were average non-exercising adults. The problem is that runners will tend to be more health-conscious people and they, on average will select much healthier diet than non-exercising people, they'll try to avoid chemical exposure and stick to natural lifestyle more than non-runners, alcohol, drug and cigarette use in runners will also be much lower than in average adults. Therefore these studies were severely flawed and their results are not acceptable.
    The acceptable study would compare runners with other exercising non-runners (hikers, bicyclists, weightlifters, skiers, tennis players, low-impact cardio machine users)

  5. PS: after doing extensive research (and some life observations) I do not run.

    I believe that running does increase a chance or bad knees or hips and does produce excessive oxidative stress that will lead to premature aging. Orthopedic physicians I was in contact with has the same opinion and attributed own joint problems to long-term running. They told me not to run, but I knew it anyway.
    I take low impact cardio (stairmaster, uphill walking, bike, elliptical, etc) anyway over running. I don't think that anything over 30 mins a day, at most 5 days a week is healthy and it's better be intervals no steady-state.

  6. ps: running once a week for 30 mins won't hurt anyone unless they're already sick--but take my advice, fill the rest of your cardio with low impact activities! And after that go and lift weights (at least you'll look good if you don't care about other benefits), do gymnastics/calisthetics exercises, play a recreational sport


    enough said. I never had doubts that running can cause cancer as it does lower immune system markers--and depressed immune system makes you prone to cancers. Not to mention the death of heart cells during endurance events...
    no thank u very much, no running for me

    1. The article you cited pertains to ultra-distance runners (specifically, the runners of the Western States 100 mile race). Anything, overdone, can be dangerous. If you drink too much water at one time, you can die, but I am guessing you still drink water. Stress and a sedentary lifestyle can cause cancer as well, but there you were, getting stressed out over others' exercise habits and sitting at your computer. Your argument is faulty in that you cite an extreme example to disqualify the benefits millions of people have experienced with a moderate running schedule.

  8. Thank you Anonymous for dropping by. I do agree with your views that running does increase chance of bad knees or hips, stress and premature aging. So does most competitive sports and even some jobs which call for repetitive actions. So that is not really an excuse to quit running.

    And you are right, depending on the objective of the activities, keep fit? lose weight? win a race? there is really no necessity in life for a person to run unless it is chasing after a bus or a robber!

    But for those who loves to run, as in all things, moderation is the key and balancing the running with low impact activities is sound advice.

    Thank you very much once again for dropping by and for sharing.

  9. Don't listen to this person. Running is not natural and it is the cause of many acute and chronic injuries. Exercise is an industry, follow the $$$$$

    1. And the sedentary lifestyle isn't?

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. I had to remove the previous comment as I felt that it was inflammatory. Here is the long and short of it, As with any type of exercise, get a physical, and talk to a doctor before starting a routine, you could have issues that you don't know about. Osteoarthritis, oxidative stress, or impact injuries? If you are predisposed to osteoarthritis, running may be a bad idea. Oxidative stress is an issue that you will only wind up dealing with if you are a frequent marathon runner. Impact injuries can be avoided with good form and the PROPER footwear for YOUR foot type. This means that you need to see someone, or do some reading to get the right shoes for your arch/pronation. Running 5K a few days a week is not going to hurt you, in fact is has been shown to help. If you really want to challenge yourself, run 5K every other day, and do HIIT workouts on your off days. You will see your overall fitness improve. But as with all things, personal goals will determine how you approach the topic. I can tell you this though, After my time in the Army, my knee pain was really bad as well as my hips. (People are not meant to carry all of that equipment as frequently as we did.) I started running with the right shoes and some intelligence as well as form, and my knee pain and hip pain are gone. My resting heart rate is down twenty BPM, and I am more efficient at my job. I can say for a fact running is good for you!