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Tuesday, 5 July 2016

2 Things About Running You May Not Have Known


Shoes alter the spring-like function of the foot during running
The development of running shoes has advanced, but the rate of running injuries hasn’t decreased for the last 40 years.
When running, bare feet act like springs which absorb the shock of striking the road, this is then used as energy to push through into the next stride. It has been suggested that overly bouncy running shoes can interfere with the process of running and encourage foot muscles to relax and over time weaken. These claims have led researchers and some runners to suspect running shoes may do more harm than good.
Now, a new research project published in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface has examined the effects on the foot’s arch and muscle activation. The study had 16 participants run barefoot and then wearing running shoes. They ran on a treadmill set up with force sensors, with wires threaded under the skin of the feet to track muscle activation.
The study found that running shoes did indeed influence the mechanical function of the foot. They were found to interfere with the foot’s ability to act like a spring, which decreased how much the foot’s arch was able to compress when hitting the ground. The study established that bare foot running would flatten the foot’s arch, whereas running shoes only got 75% of the way there.
These results contradict conventional thinking that foot muscles would be more relaxed in trainers. Running shoes were actually found to make foot muscles work harder to keep the arch stable.
The scientists who conducted the study propose more research needs to be done to support their latest findings.
Running may better than cycling for long term bone health
Exercise that puts greater strain on bones, like running, may improve long-term bone health more effectively than non weight-bearing activities like cycling, a recent study has found.
The study was conducted at the Istituto Ortopedico Galeazzi in Milan. Researchers measured the levels of hormones in 12 ultra marathon runners before and after they ran a 65km (40.3 mile) race. These levels were compared to 12 other individuals of the same age who did not partake in the race, but instead participated in low to moderate physical exercise.
The scientists identified two proteins that are key to bone formation, osteocalcin and P1NP, the levels of these in the blood are key indicators of bone health. It was found that during the race, the runners had falling levels of  the two chemicals.After the race however, the runners were found to have higher levels of P1NP than the control group. Its aid suggests that while their bodies diverted energy from their bones during the race, it is more than made up for when resting, leading to a net gain in bone health over the long term.
“The every-day man and woman need to exercise moderately to maintain health,” said Dr Giovanni Lombardi, lead author of the study. “However, our findings suggest that those at risk of weaker bones might want to take up running rather than swimming or cycling.”

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