Answered by on Monday, June 1, 2009
The answer, plain and simple, is no, says Bill Roberts, M.D., medical director for Minnesota's Twin Cities Marathon. Running is actually beneficial for many internal organs, especially the heart and lungs. Cardiovascular training improves the heart's ability to contract, which is why aerobically fit people have lower resting heart rates than couch potatoes. In other words, a fit heart pumps a lot more blood per heartbeat than an unfit one, so it doesn't have to pump as frequently. The only organ likely to be adversely affected by running? Your bladder. "Some women who have had babies may find that their uterus pounds a bit on their bladder when they run," says Dr. Roberts, "but that can be fixed by simply emptying the bladder before starting a run." Good advice for anyone, really.