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Will running hurt my knees?

If you are considering starting a new exercise plan either to improve your health, running or jogging can be an excellent place to start.

Lots of us are unsure where to start with exercise or are a little apprehensive about getting hurt or making an injury worse and that can really put us off starting a new exercise plan.

Good news! I am pleased to confirm that running will not wear out your knees or make knee pain worse! In fact, people who run tend to have less Osteoarthritis (normal age-related changes to joints) than people who don’t exercise!

3 Reasons why our knees hurt when running

The main factors which cause knee pain when we start running are:

  1. Doing too much too quickly
  2. Poorly fitting trainers
  3. Being slightly heavier than we should be

These things are really easy to fix! Running is a great way to be fit and healthy as well as losing any unwanted festive padding.

It is recommended that you start slowly and gradually increase the distance you run and the speed at which you run. Locally there are some great clubs if you don’t want to run alone or need some moral support. You could also rope a friend into going with you so it is more enjoyable and you are more likely to stick with it. Time flies by if you get chatting…  and you can have guilt-free treats after as a reward! Lots of useful apps like ‘Couch to 5k’ can help you get started and give you a plan to follow.

Warming up before you run, stretching afterwards and adding in some strength training exercises is another great way to prevent injuries and maximise the benefits from your hard work.

If you have any niggles or concerns about injuries preventing you from starting to get fit our team would be happy to help.

This article is written by Andrew MacMillan, a registered osteopath with qualifications in nutrition for sport and exercise, nutrition for weight management and exercise for fat loss.