Swap Running for Parkour
Did you say “parkour”? You mean that anti-social and dangerous looking thing that all the hoodie wearing “yoof” do in town centres?
Well yes and no. Sure the original parkour was a pretty risky pastime but nowadays there are qualified instructors who take absolute beginners through basic moves in a safe and friendly environment. And those hoodie wearing “yoof” – they actually have a fantastic attitude and are just trying to let off some steam. Try showing some interest and you’ll find they are a lot more approachable than you think! But I digress….
The reason I say parkour is healthier for you than running is the simple fact that it uses more of your body’s muscles, tendons & ligaments so provides a way to make you a much stronger and more resilient human being.
Now running is far better than sitting on the sofa but it is a very repetitive exercise that only works a subset of your body’s musculature and related tendons & ligaments (there are over 600 muscles in the human body!). A lot of people also find it damn boring but persevere as they believe that it is the healthiest thing they can do.
Parkour on the other hand is fun! Not only will you be constantly challenged to try new things, which will stimulate your mind as well as your body, you will get a real workout as you run, jump, twist and crawl your way around obstacles designed specifically to allow you to progress at your own level.
To find out more go to parkouruk.org.
Tell Me More
Have a look at this image, it shows you all the muscles in the human body.
Every one of these muscles was created as part of human evolution so that we could live in an environment that required us to survive in a harsh environment. With the amazing technology designed within the last few hundred years we have become increasingly inactive and many of these muscles hardly get used at all. Is it any wonder so many people suffer from muscular aches & pains (back pain anyone?)?
Now let’s look at the muscles used in running:
As you can see there are a lot of muscles that are not used at all as well as many that are used weakly.
By only running and walking you are allowing parts of your body to become out of balance with the others and this is not an ideal situation.
Now I couldn’t find a diagram showing what muscles are used in parkour but you only have to try it to know that it’s going to incorporate virtually every muscle!
So go on and give parkour a go. Regardless of your age or ability level the instructors are extremely welcoming and will give you all the support and encouragement you need. I guarantee you’ll have a lot of fun and you will know you have had a full body workout the next day!
Thank you to Drew from Crawley parkour for getting me in to this amazing activity!