- What can you do to strengthen your muscles? Studies say high resistance exercise like weight lifting.
- What can you do to strengthen your bones? Studies say high impact exercises like running and jumping.
- What can you do to strengthen your heart and lungs? Studies say any cardiovascular exercise like running, swimming, or cross-country skiing.
- What can you do to strengthen your cartilage in your joints? Studies say cyclical loading exercise like running.
- What can you do to strengthen your intervertebral discs? Nothing. At least that's what people believed until recently. Before this year there were no scientific studies that showed you could strengthen your intervertebral discs, but a new study has changed all that.
- a strong Achilles tendon for improved energy storage and return (cutting the energetic cost of running by about 50%!)
- arched feet which provide increases stability and rigidity to improve running efficiency
- long legs for more efficient running
- large joint surfaces for improved shock absorption
- flatter faces, smaller teeth and noses making it easier for us to balance our heads while running
- increased sweat glands on the face to help with evaporative cooling
- nuchal ligament (ligament that goes from the skull to the spine to help with shock absorption while running)
- narrow trunk, waist and pelvis to make running more efficient
- larger vertebrae and discs for better shock absorption and distribution
- shoulders that are "decoupled" from the head and neck allowing the head to stay level and straight while the shoulders rotate during running
- shorter toes and a big toe that points straight ahead for better push off when running
- a big butt which provides stability essential for running
- Running helps develop important hip, leg, and core strength in children starting between ages 1 and 2.
- Running builds essential bone density during childhood that we hold onto for the rest of our lives.
- Running is a key component of most other sports we play: basketball, soccer, lacrosse, rugby, field hockey, tennis, track and field, and even baseball and football.
- Running seems to be the most efficient activity for improving cardiovascular, building bone density, strengthening ankle, knee, and hip cartilage, and now strengthening intervertebral discs.
So if you want strong healthy muscles, bones, cartilage, and intervertebral discs do this running warmup and then go for a run. If running causes you any pain or issues, contact me for a free 30-minute posture evaluation and I'll help you figure out why and help you create a plan to fix it and get you running pain free. Remember, you weren't just born to run, you were born to run pain free!
Running exercise strengthens the intervertebral disc
Humans were born to run
How running made us human
Running warm-up and cool-down
How to build and maintain bone density
How shoulder posture affects running performance
Does running help or hurt the knees?
Benefits of running 5 miles per week