Running for Life
by Sharon Tang
Jogging may seem like an afforadable way to get fit, but there are risks.
According to a 2014 study by the Cardiovascular Research Institute at the Lehigh Valley Health Network in Pennsylvania, people who live longest only do a moderate amount of exercise.
That menas two to three hours of running a week.
Researchers looked at more than 3,800 joggers. They found that those who jog a lot or not at all have shorter
lifespans .than moderate joggers.
Another research by the American College of Cardiology in February 2015 mentioned that training too hard might be as bad as not putting on your running shoes at all.
The study suggested jogging at a steady pace for less than two and a half hours a week is best for health.
Here in Hong Kong, the annual Hong Kong Marathon sponsored by Standard Chartered has seen more and more participants in recent years.
For the 2016 marathon, 15,500 places were all gone in two and a half hours.
"When welfare organizations promote the advantages of exercise, more people become aware of their health," said Lobo Louie Hung-tak, Associate Professor of Physical Education atHong Kong Baptist University.
"Jogging, for instance, is easy because you need don't need any facilities," he said. "Joggers' injuries are not that serious.
Maybe it is exagerrated by the media ," Dr Louie suggested. But he admitted there is a lack of data on joggers.
Dr Louie explained that there is a causal relationship between training time and the probability of getting injured while jogging.
He said that competition should not be considered as a way to show off one's talent, but should be about commitment to training .
A 10 kilometer marathon for example requires at least three months' preparation.
"Some people blame on the host organization of the marathon that they are injured. That is unethical," Dr Louie
Bobo Lau Po-yu loves running and strarted going into competition when she was in secondary school. She has been
running long distance for seven years.
She has completed three marathons and a 57km walkathon. Her personal record is a 70km race.
"Speaking of injuries are inevitable. In fact, I am injured now," the experienced runner said. "Every year, I feel my injury might be more severe because my training is either not enough or too intense. "
Ms Lau is recovering from fibrosis in her muscles from training too much last year on top of an inadequate diet.
To prevent injuries or sudden death during exercise, Dr Louie suggested that runners should also do cross training and swimming in addition to daily stretching and jogging.
Physical checkups are necessary from age of 40 years because if the risk of heart failure or undiscovered inherited
"If you commit to a marathon or competition, it's your responsibility to keep to a training schedule. You are at risk of injury if you don't plan to have regular and accumulative training," Dr Louie warned.
Ms Lau thinks that running is more than health benefits. It brings people together.
"During a recent competition I was the first runner-up and because of that, I met the other winners and we made friends. The fun of running is that you can compete against and encourage each other," Ms Lau said.
"That is the real treasure ," she said.
(Edited by Joey Hung)
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