Funnily enough, Bruce Springsteen tells us we were born to run, but without mentioning the gross effects of running. Both our physiology and science, also tell us that we are quite capable of traveling long distances over a period of time. But for every action, there’s gonna be a reaction.
Introduction: The Gross Effects of Running
But just because we can do it, doesn’t mean that the body is in total sync with our will power. The basic truth is that running is actually bad for you. And running on hard surfaces, like road or tar, can lead to serious repercussions as all that pounding on bones and in particular, on the joints (like the knees) leading to bone stress injuries. Also because running/jogging involves prolonged periods of physical exertion, it will lead to lower Testosterone levels in men and a decrease in libido. Online sports book sites in the UK tell us that marathon or long distant runners can experience a number of problems and most of them are of the unpleasant variety. I suggest that you stop eating or drinking before reading any further.
That’s right, in plain English, there’s a good possibility that one of these days you’ll shit yourself. Maybe it’ll be in a city marathon with 20,000 other participants on either side. Running tends to divert blood away from the stomach causing intense cramping. Added to this, the up and down movements of running, along with some extra gravity, and we have all the ingredients for explosive diarrhea. And it’s going to happen when there isn’t a portable toilet in sight. To save yourself from finding Google Image photos of yours truly covered in shit, it might be a good idea to watch your diet the night before the run. Some recommend eating more fiber as that starts the digestive process earlier and so you can clear the stables before the run starts. Maybe sports book sites like Betsson take punts on such things happening.
The Gross Effects of Running: A Snotty Nose
It requires a certain skill set to be able to confidently cover one nostril and then blow a “snot rocket”, making a beautiful arch as it falls into the spectators. Particularly in the colder months, when it’s very common to return from a run, with a runny nose. Because colder air restricts the airways and nasal passages, and hot air tends to “burn” the lungs, there’s always a generous amount of snot produced. And it’s only natural to want to be rid of it. No runner is going to be carrying a tissue and they certainly aren’t going to swallow it. So, there’s really no other option but to blow it out. Go ahead!
The Bloody Bits
This is where your clothing is going to “chafe” against the skin over a long period. Otherwise known as “jogger’s nipple”. In a way, over a long distance and with the addition of sweat, your shirt (or whatever garment) becomes like paper. And the salt in your sweat becomes the sand. So that makes sandpaper. All runners experience some degree of chaffing. If you want to throw up in your mouth a little, just do a Google Image search for “Marathon Nipples”. Thank me later. Then cheer yourself up with some photos of fluffy kittens or have a punt with Betsson.
Blisters and Worse
According to UK sports book news, a surefire gross effect of running are both blisters and the dreaded “black toenail”. These are generally the consequence of badly fitting foot ware. Popping into your local sports outlet isn’t going to cut it on the marathon track. You’ll be needing a proper foot measurement and a gait analysis test, which can only be performed on a treadmill. As you run, your feet tend to swell up and the toes can rub against the inside top of the running shoes. The constant chafing will create a blister under the toe nail giving it a black appearance. Wait a bit and you can pry it off altogether. You can store them in a empty jam jar to show them off at a later date. In fact some ultra-marathon nuts have had their toenails surgically removed to counter this problem once and for all.
A Visit from Aunt Flow
For all you women runners, it’s a fact not often discussed: your period. Because racers are not planned around the time of the month, it means that there is a very real possibility that you’ll be running on the rag. Most women would rather not repeat the feat of Uta Pippig who won the Boston Marathon in 1996 with menstrual blood running down her legs. Best to look at it in the same manner that runners look at all bodily fluids. Just another thing to let run it’s course. Not sure where it falls on the gross scale.
The Gross Effects of Running: Vomit
Some coaches believe that vomiting at the end of a run is a sign of hard work. In the same manner all that blood is going to your working extremities, then it’s of no surprise that you might start feeling nauseous. The fight/flight reflex can also play a part, in that it makes sense to empty our stomachs before any serious running action takes place.
Another gross effect of running long distances is that it gets your body used to the idea of sweating in order to cool down. Because you body associates action with sweating, even the smallest activities can lead to a sweat bath. A one minute sprint to catch the bus, will find you bathed in sweat and you’ll certainly find it difficult to find a seat. It’s the same at night, without any apparent reason, you’ll experience “night sweats”.
You’ve returned from a run and your day has gone by fine. The problem is that, whilst running you have sweat out a lot of electrolytes. Unless you replace these with a sports drink or, say, eat a banana, then come the night, you’ll gonna feel it. Being woken up with night craps is both painful and disorientating.
Both physical stress and dehydration can lead to a lack of glucose in the blood. This in turn can cause all sorts of minor issues, stemming from the brain being essentially starved of food. You might see color changes and experience flashing spots in your vision. Also, general forgetfulness. That’s why it’s important to continuously consume electrolytes during your exercise.
End on a Good Note
In spite of what’s written above, the effects of running on the body are not all negative. For some injuries, like one’s that effect the knees, the jury is still out. Some claim, with plenty of evidence that it does, and yet there’s another sizable group that claim the opposite. One very positive effect is what’s known as “runner’s high”. If that sound’s like some “drug-speak” you’re not far from being wrong. As you run, the brain releases endorphins. These are tied to positive feelings in exactly the same ways that real drugs are. That’s why, it’s easy to get “hooked” on running.