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Monday Myth Buster: Running on the Treadmill Creates Less Stress on the Knees than Running on the Pavement

Running is a fantastic workout, but it can play havoc with your knees! Many people believe that running on the treadmill creates less stress on their knees than running on the pavement but, unfortunately, that’s not true.  Todd Schlifstein, the clinical instructor at New York University’s Medical Center says ” it is the force of your body weight on your knees that creates the stress, so it is the same whether you are on the treadmill or pavement”.  He suggests mixing up your cardio workout to include cycling and rowing, both of which put less stress on your knees.

If you really can’t do without running, try the following tips:

  1. Increase the incline on your treadmill, or run hills where possible. According to Livestrong (, a 3% incline can reduce the stress on your knees by up to 24%!
  2. Buy trainers with built-in shock absorbers, or gel insoles for your regular trainers.
  3. If you are running outside, run on grass where possible.  The softer surface provides less of an impact for your feet, which means less shock on your knees.

What does your cardio workout include? Do you mix it up or do you have a particular favourite exercise? If you’re a runner, will you be trying any of our tips? We’d love to hear your thoughts!



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