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How will long distance running affect my body when I'm older?

By June 30, 2014 - 11:39pm
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I have run several long distance races and hope to do more in the future, but I worry about the long-term affects on body. Should I be concerned?

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HERWriter Guide

Hi Ali

Thanks for your question! 

Congratulations on your running achievements!

Yes, you should have some concerns - namely the effect of long-distance running on your bones/joints and muscles. 

When we are young, our injuries happen less often and heal much more quickly. But as we get older, we are far more prone to injury and our muscles don't heal as well. Also, our joints may be somewhat arthritic, with less padding.

When I was in physical therapy for my back, the therapist told me that runners had the most injuries and longest healing times due to the amount run and the fact that it's a high impact activity.

Give yourself rest and when you are in pain, don't keep running on it. Pain is a sign of injury. Rest, use ice and get into physical therapy if you can. Warm up well and use heat on slightly sore areas you set out. Warm before, ice after!  

Also ask a therapist for ways to lessen impact on your joints and muscles. Prevention is far better than cure! 

Running is great (not for me, I only run for trains!) and offers great cardio fitness. You can run into old age! But like any sport, tone it down as you get older and remember that your healing times take longer. 

Read a great article on safe running here: 


Continued success to you! 


July 2, 2014 - 11:23am
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