You often hear those with knee problems spreading the word that running is bad for you. This absolutely may be the case for them, but as a general rule it couldn’t be further from the truth.

I’ve regularly heard people say “running wears your knees down” or “running gives you arthritis”.

This is unfortunately a really negative misconception and actually couldn’t be further from the truth. Our bodies are designed to run and there is good evidence that running is beneficial for knees and reduces the chances of getting arthritis.

There are so many health benefits to running. It helps maintain a healthy bodyweight, it strengthens your bones, improves your cardiovascular health and has excellent benefits for your mental health.

The problem is, like absolutely any forms of exercise, there are times when it might not be appropriate for people to do. For example, let’s say we have someone who is significantly overweight and hasn’t run in 18 years. But they’re looking to restart a fitness regime you lose some weight, running probably wouldn’t be the best place to start? 

Why? Because their body isn’t conditioned for running yet. Their body hasn’t been exposed to that level of load for a number of years and it takes time to develop that. This could be why someones knees are hurting, because they’ve chosen to start running at an inappropriate time and their knees can’t handle it.

What might be a better option is to start the fitness regime off with some swimming and resistance training. This way they would achieve the weight loss but their joints would be stronger when they chose to add the running into their programme. They would be in a much better position to be able to tolerate the running at therefore less likely to get an injury.

Like with any form of exercise, if your body is adapted to it, if you’re strong enough and you appropriately manage your load then you’re not likely to breakdown with an injury.

Running is so good for you and if you can get it into your fitness regime you’ll be able to reap the rewards.