Now that spring has arrived and it’s getting a little nicer outside, more people feel like enjoying the outdoors by going for a nice jog. Many people, on the other hand, don’t want to run, because it puts too much stress on the knees, there’s too much pounding, or they give some other excuse of why you shouldn’t run.
Running is a great form of exercise…when done properly. The people who feel too much pounding just aren’t running properly. When you can hear yourself coming from two blocks down the road, yes, there is too much pounding. But there doesn’t have to be. Running should be done with nice, light, quick strides. Not long, pounding strides, with a heavy foot strike.
In doing my Master’s, I have written a couple papers and have come across plenty of research of how, as humans, we were meant to run. But the best arguments came from an episode of The Nature of Things, that I recently watched. The episode called our ancestors persistent hunters. We aren’t going to outrun a lion, who wants to have us for dinner, or outrun a zebra, who we want for dinner; however, if we keep running, that lion will have to take a break after about 15 seconds and the zebra won’t last that much longer. That is how we survived. We ran. We were meant to run. We’ve evolved since our hunting days, but our physiological make-up allows us to run great distances for a long period of time. I can go on about distance running and how Africans often run in barefoot, yet don’t experience injuries, but I’ll leave that for another time.
I just hope all of you are able to get outside, enjoy the weather and go for a nice run. Remember, you don’t always need a gym, or expensive equipment. Just grab a pair of shoes (or not) and go!!