Is running good for our teeth? So’s walking!

1st October 2022 | Posted by: Vanessa Giraud

Is there evidence that running is good for our teeth?

Well, there’s lots of smiling in the parkrun community on a Saturday morning as they set off at 9:00. Five kilometres later, once they catch their breath, there are even more smiles. 

A quick update – as well as park run, now there’s park walk too! The 18th anniversary of Park Run is being celebrated this month with a new focus on walking. Whichever gait you choose, there’s always a friendly welcome for you.

Man in hi vis jacket, with to the start sing. Running good for teeth

Parkrun is, quite literally, a breath-taking phenomenon. From a few people running in Bushy park in 2004, fifteen years on there are nearly four million people around the globe who have done a 5k parkrun.

The concept of parkrun is brilliant, yet simple – same time on the same day, same place following the same route. 5k keeps the run accessible to anyone who wants to take part. While many people do run, there’s no pressure to. If you want to walk, then that’s fine too. The bar-code system means participants track their times. And best of all, thanks to the teams of volunteers, sponsors and free access to parks, parkrun is free.

With over 600 parkruns around the UK, there’s one near you.

This post celebrates my brother, Tim, running his 250th parkrun!

a man in a red shirt running as its good for teeth“Following a long illness in 2003 I had run four London Marathons, slowly, by 2011.  In the early days, I did all my training on a treadmill in the gym. Strange perhaps, but I enjoyed the monitor telling me that I was alive.  A trainer in the VOWH Leisure Centre thought I should get out more. He suggested I should try running outside and he told me about parkrun in Abingdon.  Feeling slightly nervous I registered and turned up with my barcode for my first parkrun.  It was a lot of fun and satisfying not to be last – because we’re never last!  Over the following months and a wave of PBs, parkrun became something to look forward to every week.

So I’ll run my 250th parkrun and then I’ll volunteer for the 25th time.  I’ve accepted it’s unlikely I’ll ever win a parkrun but I hope that I can improve on my 2012 personal best one day.  I hope to always keep coming back and running or volunteering because it’s a fun, friendly community to be a part of.  I have friends at parkrun – I don’t always know their names but we have a good chat before, after or even during the run.

There are numerous evidence based benefits to both our physical and mental health. So I will keep running and keep smiling!”

Could running ever be bad for teeth?

As with any sport, it’s important we take care, and know what we’re doing so that we get the benefits, without harmful side effects.

And what are the benefits of running to teeth?

Run 5K in 2 months

Get started with Couch to 5K. It’s an easy to follow, structured running programme, with good advice and clear instructions. If you’re in any doubt about your general health, check with a medical professional before you begin an exercise programme.


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