Runners and Bone Health: 4 Things You Need to Know

While running is incredibly good for us, and for many it is a fantastic way to let off steam and get fit, did you know that it can influence our bone health? If you enjoy running either leisurely or in marathons, you need to know these four things to ensure you keep the best care of your bones while running.

Sleep Is Essential
Sleeping is essential to bone health, and even more so if you are a runner. Experts recommend getting around 8 hours of sleep at night, and any less than this could be detrimental to our bone health. Getting six hours or less each night will impact the number of hormones released in the body that can affect bone health and density.

Those who don’t have enough sleep will have more cortisol in their body, which can alter the secretion of HGH (human growth hormone) and cortisol is also responsible for the breakdown of body tissues. If you wanted another reason to get to bed earlier, here it is – those who run or exercise frequently also find it easier to sleep at night, meaning those who suffer from sleepless nights or broken sleep may want to run more to aid with sleeping.

Running Smarter
How we run certainly has an impact on our general bone health. Running sensibly will allow your body to gain all the great benefits of running without comprising our bone health. One way to reduce the impact running has on our bones is to learn when too much training can be harmful.

Wearing the Right Gear
If you want to take care of your bones, you need to run smarter and wear the correct runners’ gear. The most obvious thing to get right is your shoes, which need to be fitted well and supportive. You shouldn’t scrimp on running shoes, as you get what you pay for.

You need shoes that fully support your feet and take some impact when running to avoid over-exertion of the bones, especially the knees. If you do have problems with your joints, consider wearing a knee brace to help support the knee and ligaments.

Diet Means Everything
What we eat daily has an impact on our bone health, and if you run a couple of times a week, you need to feed your body with strengthening and repairing nutrients for your bones. Your bones require many vitamins and nutrients to perform at their best and remain healthy, meaning you need a well-balanced diet to contend with your running. Make sure you have good fats, tons of lean protein, leafy greens and slow-releasing carbs, to look after those hard-working bones.

Some runners also choose to use protein powder shakes and supplements, designed specifically to aid with bone health. There are many hydrolyzed collagen benefits for the bones and body if you are interested in using supplements alongside your training.

Getting enough sleep, eating a well-balanced diet, supporting the feet with great shoes and not over-exerting ourselves is the best way to maintain good bone health if you are a runner. Don’t let bone health put you off running; instead, follow the above advice and speak to your doctor if you have any further concerns.

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