Running for health: A cost benefit analysis
Published: September 16, 2016
- Jogging is a slower form of running: less than 8 minutes per mile or 7.5 mph or 12 kph.
- Running may be identified as the distance run each day (more than 3-5 km/day), participating in races and performance orientated goals.
- Joggers are more likely to run for health reasons rather than performance and fitness specific reasons.
- The faster you move on your feet the greater your energy output: also depends on many other factors: gender, body weight, and level of fitness
- The energy output of jogging/running varies between 8.7 (7.5 min/km, 12 min/mile) - 16.3 (3.75 min/km, 6 min/ mile).
Benefits of jogging and running
- improved cardiovascular conditioning, endurance, and a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease
- increases maximum oxygen uptake (increased stamina)
- assists in weight control and improves body composition
- assists in some cases of cardiac rehabilitation (under medical guidance)
- improves diabetes control
- insomnia relief
- migraine relief
- reduce risk of arthritis and relieves arthritic condition
- enhanced psychological well being
To achieve a moderate cardiovascular fitness level you don't need to jog or run more than about 3-5 km (2-3 mile)/day 2-3 times a week: 75 - 90 minutes per week. Jogging or running more than this may increase your cardiovascular fitness, but also increases injury risk.
- Increased risk of injury when compared to walking: increased stress placed on your bones and muscles as you move.
- Increased risk of overuse injuries caused by doing too much jogging or running: blisters, shin splints, ankle, knee and hip problems, plantar fasciitis, hairline fractures in the bones of the feet, ankle and/or shins, muscle strains and tendon and ligament sprains.
- Environmental hazards: carbon monoxide fumes, falling trees, uneven sidewalks, weather (heat and cold)
- Can become addictive/obsessive: endorphins and "runner's high", means to cover up an eating disorder
Achieving the benefits and reducing the disadvantages
- Mediate injuries: wear proper foot wear, applying proper technique, overcome the limitations of jogging and running through incremental progression, cross training, improving muscular strength and endurance, improving flexibility, avoiding pain and injury, and nutrition for healthy running or jogging.
Healthy jogging or running should be enjoyable, achievable, accessible, injury free, and sustainable into your senior years. Now that you have the basic principles of jogging and running, do your own cost/benefit analysis and determine what you need to do to ensure that you jog or run for health.