Here’s another reason to make running part of your weekly routine. By Claire Ang
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Running doesn’t aggravate your back problems. In fact, it seems to help strengthen your spinal discs and reduce your chances of suffering from back pain.
Your intervertebral discs, act as cushions between each of your vertebral discs in your spine. Due to wear and tear, old age or other factors, they can bulge and cause back pain and even injuries such as a slipped disc. There has never been a scientifically proven way to strengthen your spinal discs, but it seems that running may just be the solution.
According to a study published recently in Scientific Reports, the findings have shown that running regularly can lead to better disc health.
Researchers recruited a total of three subject groups, with individuals aged between 25 to 35 years old. The first group is joggers, who run 20 to 40km per week. The second group is classified as long distance runners, who run more than 50km per week. And the last group consists of individuals who do not exercise on a regular basis.
The subjects were required to go through an in-depth scan that measured the size and liquidity of each of their discs. They also had to complete questionnaires with details such as the type of physical activity, average sitting duration, distance and time run per week, and the number of years of participation.
The bigger the discs and the more fluid (which helps to compress and absorb pressure during movement) they contain, the stronger the discs. And the results showed that participants who ran had healthier discs as compared to those who were sedentary.
So if the fear of back pain is stopping you from running, it’s time to lace up and hit the track.