Running on Pavement

by Bea | October 1st, 2009 | Running

college fitnessSome people thing that running on pavement or concrete is the worst thing in the world for you because it is harder and less shock absorbing. These people are right, but what is even worse for you than the pavement is the continuity of the surface–or running on the same terrain on a daily basis.

First, let us talk about why concrete and asphalt are not favored in the world of running.  The human anatomy is designed for shock absorption, but, like most things in this world, it does have its limits, and highly repetitive pounding on a hard surface can crack the tibia. When the bones in your body are being used on a continuous basis, the constant pounding can lead to slight, or major injuries. The biggest threat is shin splints.

The best thing to do is to get off of the concrete. Try trail running or running in the grass alongside a river. The biggest thing to be aware of is to switch up the terrain every once in a while in order to constantly stimulate and challenge all of those reflexes and muscles. By increasing the use of the different muscles and reflexes, you are bound to develop and maintain a well-rounded level of fitness, which is a method of injury prevention.

If you live in a city or in some other place where you really only have the option to stay on the concrete or the sidewalks, you may have to search for a better terrain to run on every once in a while. It is understandable that you cannot take the time every day to find a grassy path, but make the effort to switch up your running terrain before your body has taken too much of a beating.

Oh and by the way, if you have heard the rumor that running on grass burns more calories than pavement, that is not really true, but what is true is that running on soft beach sand does provide a better workout!

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All health and fitness information is provided for educational purposes. Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise regimen.