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Is Running Good Or Bad For Your Health?

Many studies have been conducted to highlight the benefits that running has for your health. From improving your cardiovascular system to sleeping better, which can enhance your mental health, running provides excellent rewards when maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Yet, there’s usually a downside to almost everything.

As much as the advantages of running are encouraging enough to start your workout journey, you should consider if the cons can present unwanted health risks in the long run. Read on to determine whether running is good or bad for your health.

Benefits of Running

Improves Your Cardiovascular Health

There’s a reason why running is a popular form of exercise. It is recommended as a leading cardio exercise that you can do to lower your risk of heart disease. A healthy heart is a great indicator of excellent health.

Studies suggest that blood circulation significantly increases blood flow and oxygen levels.

When you maintain a healthy weight through running, you can also benefit from reduced blood pressure risks. Overall, running is an effective way to improve your immune system.

Promotes Weight Management

Have you considered running to reach a specific weight loss goal? Most people choose to add this form of exercise to help with weight management. Paired with a healthy diet, running can help burn calories essential to losing body fat.

Whether you include long or shorter runs in your daily fitness routine, you can burn many calories to help you reach your ideal weight.

Additionally, you can experience the after-burn effect if you include high-intensity runs. This means you can continue burning calories for more than 24 hours after your workout.

Boosts Memory

Did you know that running for at least 10 minutes can boost your memory? When you do cardio exercises like running, you can enhance the communication of neurons in your brain. This plays a critical role in creating and maintaining memory traces in your brain.

Other physiological changes that include reducing inflammation your body goes through when you run can encourage the production of new blood vessels necessary to promote the creation of new brain cells. This can lead to better cognitive processes such as memory, problem-solving, and verbal reasoning, and delayed onset of dementia.

Increases Energy Levels

Fatigue can feel like burnout or a constant lack of energy. A combination of mental and physical exhaustion can affect most people differently. However, the main symptom is severe tiredness.

If you suffer from chronic fatigue, consider adding running to your everyday fitness routine. The cells in your muscles can use the glucose converted from the foods you consume to help increase your body’s energy supply. Most importantly, cardio-based exercise can enhance your body’s oxygen supply, essential for your overall energy supply.

Disadvantages of Running

Runner’s Knee

An activity like running that can cause repeated stress on your knee joint, leading to pain around your kneecap (patella), is known as runner’s knee. This term has been used to describe several knee problems. The main thing that you’ll notice is pain when you bend your knee or walk downhill.

In severe cases, swelling might compromise your walking or running. A physical examination is the only way to confirm if you have runner’s knee. Once the results have been concluded, your doctor can recommend various treatment options, including anti-inflammatory medications for pain relief.

Bone Fracture

Runners are vulnerable to gradual injuries caused by overusing specific bone structures. For instance, small fractures, minor cracks, or the breaking of foot, leg or hip bones are common among long-distance runners. When you run, your body weight rests on specific parts, like your joints.

Repeating this motion over time can lead to minor fractures. If you have a health condition like osteoporosis or vitamin D deficiency that impacts your bone density, the risk of these injuries increases. Taking time off running and engaging in pain-free activities can help heal your bones before developing more significant fractures.


In some cases, running can cause skin chafing. This is a common skin condition caused by your skin rubbing against clothing or another part of your skin. It’s an uncomfortable feeling that can cause tender skin and raised bumps.

Severe symptoms can include:

  • Secondary skin infections like boils.
  • Blisters or bleeding sores.
  • Broken and cracked skin.
  • Muscle pain.
  • Swelling in the affected area.

Stomach Issues

Various stomach symptoms are related to what is commonly known as “runner’s stomach”. It’s usual to experience abdominal pains, cramping, and diarrhoea during or after exercise. According to research, several factors contribute to these symptoms.

Experts suggest that your diet, dehydration, and reduced blood supply during exercise can upset your stomach during or after a run. However, severe stomach pain can also signal an underlying health condition. It’s crucial to consult with a doctor if you experience frequent symptoms when running.

Running is a great way to set and maintain fitness goals. Taking breaks in-between is necessary to avoid increased risk of injuries and other related health problems. If you are a runner and require a physical examination, contact Affinity Health to find out about suitable medical cover.

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