Hooray!!! In the words of Jon Bon Jovi, “Woahhhh, we’re halfway there…”
Week 5 Run 2 sees us sail pass the half-way point and it is now downhill all the way; we have less runs left to complete than we have under our belt.
CONGRATULATIONS to everyone who has made it this far. I wonder how many of you were thinking at the start you’d never be able to get this far but look at what you have achieved – AMAZING!!
You often hear people say that they cannot run as they have a bad back however running can actually be beneficial and studies do show exercise is better than sitting.
N.B. Before commencing any type of new exercise, it is always recommended that you consult your Doctor especially if you have an existing condition.
Some people are concerned that pounding the pavement will take its toll on their back however a recent study may alleviate those fears.
In between the vertebrae in your back you have small disks which contain a gelatinous substance called nucleus pulposes.
It is composed of a jelly-like material containing mainly water and a network of collagen fibres which allows the disk to withstand forces of compression and torsion i.e., it provides a cushion to the spinal column and acts as a shock absorber thereby preventing the vertebrae from rubbing together.
Over time these disks naturally deteriorate due to constant squeezing and stretching through motion and the wear and tear of aging.
in 2017, researchers in Australia looked at a group of adult men & women, two thirds of which had been runners for at least five years and a third who rarely exercised, and using special MRI scans were able to measure the liquidity of their spinal disks.
They discovered that in general the disks of the runners contained more fluid, which indicated more flexibility and consequently less pain, than the disks of those people who rarely exercised.
According to interventional spine specialist Dr Santhosh Thomas, this research supports the idea than running is better than sitting for your back. It should be noted that people who run are generally healthier overall than those who rarely exercise and other factors e.g. smoking, obesity and family history of disk problems can also have an impact. More research is necessary to determine the reasons for healthier spinal disks, but Dr Thomas agreed that running is very good for you!
If this has inspired you to start running, you can download the official C25K app via the NHS website by clicking HERE where you will find all the information you need together with hints, tips and stretching advice.
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