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Saturday 23rd June 2018

Is jogging bad for you?

27th July 2009

After French President Nicolas Sarkozy collapsed while jogging Andy Dixon, editor of Runner's World magazine, looks at the health hazards associated with jogging.


It had been reported that Mr Sarkozy had suffered a nerve condition in which exhaustion and dehydration led to a loss of consciousness due to a reduction in his blood pressure.

What he actually suffered was less intense than that but it still caused him to collapse in hot weather in Versailles.

However, while there are health hazards associated with jogging – and the episode Mr Sarkozy suffered is rare – Andy Dixon argues that the benefits far outweigh the risks.

He suggested the president’s collapse was triggered by a combination of the exertion of running, the strict diet he was on and dehydration from the heat.

This could be prevented by hydrating the body while running and warming down properly afterwards enabling the heart rate, blood supply and the muscles to return to normal.

"And at the end of a run, rather than just stopping dead, it's better to run a bit more slowly and slow down until walking fast, allowing the body to adjust gradually back to rest," he said.

A more common complaint is the impact on joints, but the more you run the stronger the joints become.

The so-called Big Five complaints are shin splints, runner's knee, foot irritation, thigh irritation and Achilles tendinitis (lower leg irritation), which are generally wear and tear injuries.

Running safely means not overdoing it, and possibly starting off on a treadmill before taking to the streets.


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