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Common Risks of Running You Should Be Aware Of

Risks of Running. When many people think of exercise, the first thing that comes to mind is running. Running is great for your cardiovascular and mental health. However, running does come with some risks that you should be aware of. If you decide that running just isn’t worth the risks, there are plenty of other, healthier options for your exercise regime. 

Injury

The sustained and repetitive pounding that occurs as runners hit the pavement frequently causes injury. Common runner injuries include plantar fasciitis, runner’s knee, shin splints, and even stress fractures. Plantar fasciitis occurs when the thick band of tissue supporting your heel and arch becomes inflamed and causes a stabbing pain in your heel. Runner’s knee refers to damage to the cartilage under your kneecap. 

Shin splints are the result of overworking your leg muscles and tendons. Stress fractures are small cracks in the foot bone caused by the repetitive motion of running. These types of injuries require rest to heal, which can cause a major disturbance to your exercise regime.

Speed Up Aging

Believe it or not, frequent running can lead to premature aging. When you relax your face as you run, the downward thrust of each stride pulls on your face muscles and loosens your skin. This means that maintaining a habit of running can cause your face to sag over time. Of course, running in the sun comes with its own risks. The sun is notorious for causing early aging. The ultraviolet radiation from the sun actually changes your skin’s DNA, leading to wrinkles, sun spots, and even cancer.

Cardiovascular Risks

While running typically boosts your cardiovascular health, too much running can actually damage your heart and arteries. Studies have shown that excessive running can lead to a buildup of plaque in your arteries. It can also cause your heart tissue to thicken and scar. This scarring can eventually lead to an irregular heartbeat. 

 

If you decide that running is still the exercise for you despite its risks, be sure to listen to your body. Your body is good at knowing when you are pushing yourself too hard. And if you decide that running is not for you, rest assured that there are plenty of other ways to get an excellent workout in. Running or walking on a treadmill is easier on your joints than running on the pavement. Elliptical machines allow you to work out with a smooth, fluid motion that doesn’t speed up aging. Just remember, you do have options!

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