Well, when it comes to running as exercise, maybe not! In a recent New York Times blog post, a review of studies showed some good news for those not interested in running very long distances.
People who ran as few as 5-6 miles per week were less likely to have issues with blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes. The risk of strokes, certain cancers and arthritis were also found to be much lower than the average individual. Essentially, the highest level of effects from running seem to occur at relatively short distances.
This is great news for your feet! Road running and long distance running can take quite a toll on your feet. Here at Advanced Podiatry we often recommend low impact exercise to patients with chronic pain or those just beginning an exercise program. For patients who have pain in their feet, but still want to stay active we recommend biking, swimming and rowing as a way to get cardio as well as give your feet a break!
Our Podiatrists recommend the following when beginning a running program:
1. Start off slow - begin with a brisk walk, work your way to a mixed jogging and walking program and then transition to a long distance run at a slow pace.
2. Make sure you have well fitting supportive shoes that have been broken in. Exercising in new shoes can lead to painful blisters and sores.
3. Hydrate and stretch before and after you exercise to prevent shin splints and tendonitis.
4. Be sure to have a well made supportive orthotic device in your running shoes. An orthotic device helps put your foot in the best position for optimal performance and decreases the overall load on your ankles, knees and hips.
5. Make sure to change your socks and shoes after running and treat your shoes with an anti-fungal, anti-microbial spray to prevent athlete's foot and toenail fungus.
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