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Too overweight to Run?
by Kate Pophal

I need to lose weight and am worried that the added weight pounding on my knees and joints if I run will be a problem.

It's a Catch22. I need to lose weight to be able to run (jog in my case) but can't jog till I lose weight. What would you advise


A. I understand that you are fearful that a beginning running program may induce joint and knee pain. It would be a shame to have to stop from pain or injury after a couple of weeks. I have a couple pieces of advice for you.

Your first stop is your local running specialty store. A great store is Second Sole. They have locations in Lyndhurst (where I work part-time), Rocky River, Youngstown, Canton, Akron and Columbus. The staff consists of runners, coaches and trainers.

They will be able to check the wear patterns on an older pair of your athletic shoes and properly fit the shoes to your gait.

There are three types of feet. They can test you to see which category you fall. They might even send you away if your current shoes are appropriate.

The second step would be to choose running terrains that are less harsh to your body than cement, asphalt and treadmills. The Cleveland Metro Parks trails, grass and a local track will be easier on your joints and knees and will help make your transition into running successful.

Thirdly, take it slow. Running is hard on the body. Cross train on the days you don't run.

Ideally, you should run every other day instead of every day. Elliptical, walking, weight lifting, swimming and biking are all great choices.

I am happy to write you a proper, safe running schedule to add to your success.

Good luck!

Ask Kate a Question by e-mail at run@ClevelandWomen.Com

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