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Two thirds of joggers may be damaging themselves

The Local · 27 Apr 2011, 09:06

Published: 27 Apr 2011 09:06 GMT+02:00

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Professor Henning Allmer from the Cologne Institute for Applied Health Sciences has surveyed more than 10,000 joggers on behalf of AOK and concluded that many joggers may be doing harm as well as good.

“People who regularly overstrain their bodies and don’t listen to the body’s signs when jogging have to expect in the end permanent damage, tiredness and exhaustion,” Allmer said this week, according to daily Die Welt. “Ultimately even muscular and cardiovascular problems may arise.”

Allmer developed a questionnaire for joggers to help them determine whether their running style is safe or could be damaging. The test is available on the health insurer’s website.

Between December 2006 and November 2010, more than 10,000 German runners took the test, the paper reported.

Seven in 10 of the respondents to the online test were women. Four fifths of respondents said they jogged alone with just one in five jogging with others. Seven out of 10 were aged between 21 and 50.

Questions included, “Do you get out of breath?”, “Do you take a break?” and “Do you get muscular cramps or some other pain?”

Based on the answers, respondents were classed into three categories. Joggers who took a break when they got a cramp or some other reaction such as an unusually high pulse were considered to be healthy runners.

But those for whom the strain and effort was the main feature of jogging, who were clearly overstepping their physical limits and for whom pain and exhaustion were the dominant sensations after a jog could be considered unhealthy runners who could be doing damage, Allmer said.

Between these two extremes were a middle category who were reasonably healthy joggers but who might nonetheless be doing themselves some harm.

Story continues below…

Not even one in three joggers – 32 percent – were running in a healthy way, Allmer concluded. Another 32 percent were running in a damaging way and the remainder, 36 percent were in the middle.

The figures for worse for people who jogged alone. Only 29 percent of these were jogging in a healthy way, compared with 39 percent of those who jogged in groups or pairs.

The Local/djw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

09:58 April 27, 2011 by tallady
YEP, I use to jog on a regular basis and when ever i made a trip back to the back to the USA I would go to Walmart and buy one of those huge bottles of ibuprofen to return with for the pain in my knees and hips after my morning jog.
10:25 April 27, 2011 by pepsionice
At my peak, over a four-year period, I jogged almost 3,600 miles. Most was on concrete or pavement. As I neared 42, my body was killing me....pain in my knees and hips almost daily. So I eventually quit. I stuck to walking. At 52 now, I have some hip pains that just won't go away. I readily believe we are all over indulging in jogging and running.
10:46 April 27, 2011 by auniquecorn
I never in my life jogged, I walk 4-5 miles a day with my dog. What I see in this article thou comes from 1 statement.

(Applied Health Sciences has surveyed more than 10,000 joggers on behalf of AOK)

So when you look at the big picture,

The Gov´t is going to raise health insurance prices again.
11:22 April 27, 2011 by Berliner Mauer
As a competitive ultra runner always on the streets of Berlin, joggers truly do abound here. Sadly, I see a lot who run with very poor form and bad shoes. The former often caused by the latter. Women tend to have X-Beine (knock knees/over pronate) and men have O-Beine. Shoes will help the biomechanical alignment and result in less knee, hip and backstrain. Most sport shops will assist runners in finding the correct shoes. As for over indulgence, well, that I can't advise... :)
16:52 April 27, 2011 by T.J. Morton
How can you get any faster if you don't over indulge? And what exactly is out of breath? An unusually high pulse? ;-) If you're not puking, you're not running hard enough!!!
17:07 April 27, 2011 by Ludinwolf
Finding a correct/proper running shoes is a must.

In fact this is just a step towards being more safe.

Putting the body under stress has shown us that brings better overall health.

Too much of it, wastes and can with prolonged time cause chronic pain in different parts of the body,depending on which part was most stressed/overused.

I ve been many years working with physical activities and my personal first advice for a runner wanna be is start it by walking. Of course ''if one wants to swim, jump in the water'' - ''if one wants to run, start to run then''. I agree but agree also that science has shown us today that physical stress thru different sports/activities when started from little to more/ low to high/slower to fast/ simple to complex help our body do be build/developed adequately decreasing chances of develop a problem in the future when body start to naturally get old, cell, bones, joints.

As each person is so unique although we have the same shape( pair of legs, arms, one heart, etc :) ) our patterns, posture, habits, stress put us back in this very specific individual therefore is important to start slow, then again 'slowly ' move to faster or longer period of training.

In order to keep progressing is important to have time to time different routines for not remain stagnated

And important, respect what our body says. It happen time to time to feel a little pain here, a pain down on the shin... well, as long as this pain ceases when training is decreased, it can be considered 'normal' as using the body in physical activity is a certain amount of risk ( still safe and necessary) but if pain continues, better get info from a competent professional.
17:53 April 27, 2011 by Altdude
I have long believed that joggers are masochists at depth, ergo they may rejoice at their success in harming themselves.
22:51 April 27, 2011 by 9900lawre
You've got dressed for the ocassion now so you will go and run in your new trainers on a new years resolution! Oh and oops you've forgotten that youra fat t*a) and over done it.

Pressure to be what society thinks you should be?

You buy a fast car and you go out the day of taking the keys and drive on the autobahn to see how fast it goes until you get very quickly out of your comfort zone and crash.

We all try too much too fast and suffer as a result.

Exercise on any level like driving a car fast is good so long as you know when to slow down and stop!
20:23 May 1, 2011 by wootendw
I'm 58 and run regularly BUT, to prevent excessive inflammation:

I only run twice a week (2 miles) and on grass or soft surface - never pavement

After running I apply ice packs to my ankles knees and hips for 20-30 minutes.

I take aspirin or ibuprofen before running.

If I were ever hurting, I'd stop immediately.
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