I recently came across an article from Men's Health that was titled Scary Fitness Fads. It was an interesting article that talked about all the people who have been using gymnastics rings (mostly improperly, I might add) and the amount of people who are choosing to do kipping pull-ups instead of doing strict bodyweight pull-ups. There is some discussion to be had on both of these topics, but I wanted to take a couple of minutes to discuss one of the other "fads" that Mens Health pointed out. If you would like to read the whole article here is a link to the Men's Health Fitness Fad Article.

The third fad that they brought up was "Running Too Much." Now before I start ranting, I think I need to come clean and admit that I am not the biggest fan of running for exercise. But I think that most of you know that about me... If I am going to go for a run their will most likely be one of two things present... A ball or a very large man with some sort of weapon.

The statistic that they cited in the article was very telling to me. Consider that:

In 2012
487,000 people completed a marathon in the U.S. 

In 2013
541,000 people completed a marathon in the U.S.

In 2014 
The numbers are still being counted but they expect another significant rise

Are you seeing the trend? More and more people are running farther and farther. You would think that that would make me happy right? Movement is life, but in this case I am a little concerned about the impact that this increase in distance running may have on these people. Do not get me wrong, I think training for, and completing, a marathon is a huge accomplishment, but do we need to take on the physical pounding to accomplish that goal. Will the end justify the means? Only time will tell the answer to that question. I also find myself wondering how in the world do you find the time in your day to do all that running? I can tell you that I have enough trouble finding the 15 minutes that I use to exercise everyday!

I, recently, had a new patient who is a runner and we discussed her running at length. I ask almost evey patient who is a runner one particular question about why they chose to run as their exercise. I always ask "Why running?" and follow that up with "What is your goal?" I have heard a ton of different answers! If their goal is to lose weight, I often suggest that there are much more efficient ways to do it, but if they run for "mental health" or for the cardiovascular benefits I have no argument against running. I always suggest that you choose an exercise that you enjoy and one that will help you meet your goals. 

The bottom line is that we all need to find an exercise routine that will help us reach our goals AND one that is not likely to cause injury! Please keep that in mind when you decide whether you want to commit to running a marathon.
A Quick TED talk that I thought was great!
Click the image below!
Movement is my Medicine,
Dr. William "Chip" Bleam

Dr. William "Chip" Bleam


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