As those who frequently run or play running sports outside are well aware, certain surfaces create much more strain on the body than others. Particularly in terms of areas like the knees, feet and other lower-body areas, harder surfaces can be a major stressor over time.
At Courts Unlimited, user comfort and long-term body care are areas we take heavily into account when designing and installing our various courts, from basketball courts to tennis courts, pickleball courts and more. What are some of the risks of running on harder surfaces like cement or asphalt, and how do our court materials remove many of these risks to make your experience both enjoyable and healthy? Here’s a quick primer.
Concrete or Cement
Among the common running or sports surfaces out there today, concrete and cement paving are almost certainly the least forgiving on the body. They are hard, rigid surfaces that create major shock to body joints and muscles as you run or move athletically, this despite their general smoothness and lack of major blemishes.
If you run or play sports often, more than once a week or so, we strongly recommend avoiding concrete, or at least varying it up when you can.
It might surprise you to hear, but most experts consider grass to be a more severe surface on the legs and body than asphalt – though significantly less so than concrete. While you might be more comfortable in the moment while running on grass, research has shown that over time, it will cause more stress-related issues to the body than asphalt will by around 25%.
And while asphalt is considered the “most” comfortable of these three primary surfaces found out in public today, this is a relative term. Asphalt is more forgiving than concrete and even a bit more so than grass over time, but it’s still a rigid surface that puts strain on the legs. It’s also highly common, found throughout various streets, running paths and other areas.
At Courts Unlimited, both the quality and comfort of our surfaces are very important to us. While we are able to build on top of asphalt, most of our clients go with our post-tension concrete that’s more durable.
Before you panic at the word “concrete,” beware this is a very different material from what you find out in public. Our courts are reinforced with high-quality shock absorption and traction elements, plus are built to withstand the outdoor elements in ways concrete and asphalt generally do not. The result is a long-lasting surface that’s more forgiving on the legs and body than those other options.
For more on the advantages of our court surfaces over public surfaces like concrete, or to learn about any of our court options, speak to the staff at Courts Unlimited today.