How Running on Different Surfaces Affect your Body?
Jayanagar, Bengaluru Feb 14, 2017
Different running surfaces can stress the body and feet in various ways, working different muscles or joints, needing different positions and postures and causing different aches. The biomechanics of running transforms depending on whether the surface is hard or soft, level or slanting. Runners therefore have to alter the style and energy to match environment.
Running on Natural Surfaces: grass, dirt or sand
Many runners choose natural atmospheres and take to the forest trails, grassy parks or dirt roads while running. Grass, dirt and sand provide unequal surfaces for runners, which permits the body to work the full range of muscles, joints and tendons for a more challenging and all-inclusive workout. However, these uneven surfaces demand intense focus and awareness to stop falls, ankle twists and injuries.
Natural surfaces are often softer and reduce the strain on joints, doctors claim.
Running on Man-made surfaces: concrete sidewalks, asphalt pavement, tarmac, rubber or treadmill
Concrete and asphalt surfaces, particularly when newly formed, offer runners an even, although hard surface. Old hard surfaces can have cracks, holes and worn spots that offer as risky surprises. The hardness also tends to be rough on knees & feet.
Concrete is the difficult surface, & physicians at the Women’s Sports Medicine Center in New York City suggest avoiding concrete completely. If runners select to jog on concrete, they should have shoes with the maximum level of cushioning and help in order to avoid landing with too much force. Sport medicine doctors advise that forceful landings on concrete can be strong enough to shatter blood cells and lessen the amount of oxygen that the blood can carry to organs. Additionally, the hardness of the surface can make runners exposed to shin splints.
Though asphalt is not as risky as concrete, it too can irritate shins and cause stress fractures. Asphalt roads should be used with caution as they can meander and expose runners to hazardous turns and traffic, as well as toxic fumes from vehicles.
Tarmac and rubber are better options than concrete and asphalt because they are less taxing to joints. Even nevertheless these are considered hard surfaces; doctors say runners naturally adjust their leg stiffness to avoid harsh collisions with these surfaces.