As it is known, running is useful for heart health, but it is not so good for knee health. In this article you will find out, how to take care of your knees to maintain them flexible and healthy all life long.
Nowadays no one doubts the positive impact of regular running to cardiovascular system. However, it is controversial, what an impact running leaves on skeleton and joints in long term and whether running is equally good both for men and women. The main concern is connected with question, whether regular running causes osteoarthritis (the pain and inflammation of joints caused by deterioration of joints) and permanent knee damages.
The place, where the knee connects with the bone of tight, is particularly threatened. Researchers have found, that sports, where whole body weight is based on legs, are dangerous for women, because they double and even triple possibility of osteoarthritis in knees and hips. There are also terrifying data about women – athletes. Women, who run and jump, have 4 to 8 times higher risk than men to damage their knees.
A lot of theories affirm, that women have higher risk of traumas because of anatomical particularities: the width of hip enlarges the angle, in which knee is located to the hip joint, while moving and running. Also women hormones naturally make their tendons more elastic. We must take into account, that women’s legs are not so strong and their reaction speed is slower than men’s reaction, therefore, injuries occur more frequently.
It is important to not to overload muscles. Taking into account, that tendons contain a lot of collagen, which ensures their elasticity, tendons may be stretched and perhaps permanently, if they are too overloaded during physical activities. Risk of tendons stretching is not connected with physical activities, where body weight is based on legs. Research, which compared looseness of knee tendons of runners, basketball players and weightlifters, proved, that tendons of weightlifters (who frequently perform squatting) are not so overloaded like tendons of runners and basketball players. This research proves, that constant knee bending and unbending puts great pressure on knees.
For example, while running long distances, sportsman has no possibility to relax and recover. Believe it or not, after exercising knee tendons become looser for almost one fifth. It is because tendons stretch while exercising, but it is also because tired muscles have lower tone. Long and regular runs can overstrain women’s knees, and, if women do not additionally strengthen their knee muscles, it is bad idea to apply for marathon. By the way, there is no need to overstrain your muscles and damage your tendons for heart and blood vessels health – there are a lot of other ways to improve your cardiovascular system’s health.