As a physical therapy business, we at Stoneking understand the importance of maintaining good joint and knee health. Running or walking on the wrong type of surface can lead to unnecessary wear and tear on your joints and potentially cause injuries. Let’s discuss which surfaces are the best to run or walk on, and which surfaces can be harmful to your knee and joint health.

Best Surfaces for Running and Walking

  1. Asphalt: Asphalt is a popular surface for running and walking because it provides a good balance between cushioning and firmness. It’s not too hard on your joints, but it’s also not so soft that it slows you down. As long as the asphalt is a flat, even surface – which is important for maintaining good form and reducing the risk of tripping or falling.
  2. Track: Running or walking on a track is a great way to get in a consistent workout. The surface is typically made of rubber, which provides excellent shock absorption and helps protect your joints from impact. Plus, tracks are typically flat and even, which reduces the risk of injury.
  3. Treadmill: While not technically a surface, treadmills are a great option for running or walking if you’re looking for a controlled environment. Treadmills provide a cushioned surface that’s easy on your joints, and you can adjust the incline and speed to customize your workout.

Surfaces to Avoid

  1. Concrete: Concrete is a hard, unforgiving surface that can be tough on your joints. Running or walking on concrete can cause unnecessary wear and tear on your knees and joints, leading to pain and potential injury.
  2. Sand: While it may seem like running or walking on the beach is a great way to get in a workout, sand can actually be harmful to your joint health. Sand is an unstable surface, which means your joints have to work harder to stabilize your body. This can lead to fatigue and potential injury.
  3. Cobblestone or Brick: While these surfaces may look charming, they’re not the best option for running or walking. The uneven surface can be tough on your joints and make it harder to maintain proper form. Plus, the risk of tripping or falling is higher on cobblestone or brick surfaces.

Maintaining good joint and knee health is essential for anyone who wants to stay active and healthy. Running or walking on the right type of surface can help reduce the risk of injury and keep your joints in good shape. If you’re not sure which surface is right for you, consider talking to a physical therapist or trainer who can help you find the best option for your needs. Feel free to call us at Stoneking Physical Therapy and Wellness Center at 609-883-7528 with any questions, or to set up an appointment.