It’s a common misconception that running causes knee issues like arthritis, when in fact the opposite is true. Studies have shown that running does not ruin your knees or cause osteoarthritis. Whilst it seems counter intuitive, running is actually linked with healthy knees.
According to Dartmouth-Hitchcock (D-H) Rheumatologist Alicia Zbehlik, MD, MPH, research has shown that running does not ruin your knees or cause osteoarthritis; in fact, it can actually protect your knees! There are several reasons for this. One reason that running can protect your knees is the simple fact that people who are actual runners tend to be in shape! They are lean, mean, muscle machines and that translates to them having a lower body mass index (BMI) and weight. That in itself lowers their risk for osteoarthritis. Being overweight is a modifiable risk factor that you can easily eliminate with diet and exercise in order to significantly lower your risk for developing osteoarthritis. Exercise is important for improving flexibility and joint strength, which helps to prevent and treat the symptoms of osteoarthritis.
I have never been a runner and don’t have the ability to take up that hobby anytime soon. Don’t worry though, there are still plenty of other exercises you can enjoy! Simple things like walking and swimming is great exercise. You can also do things like dance class, Zumba or even activities like Tai Chi or Karate. Whatever you choose to do, start slow and work your way up. You can’t go from not being a runner to running daily! Doing too much, too soon can actually cause injuries and that is precisely what you are trying to avoid in the first place.
Lots of athletes use knee supports to stabilize and protect their knees. That’s an easy thing you can do whether you’re a beginner athlete or even a more experienced runner, yoga practitioner, basket ball player, dancer or whatever.
Being in my 30’s now, I’m starting to think more about my overall health and wellbeing. I realize I don’t have the metabolism of a teenager anymore and finding time to exercise proves to be difficult at best. Chasing after my 2 year old and caring for my other two children takes a lot of energy out of me every day, but unfortunately, it’s not true exercise. I had to make a commitment to make time in my schedule to go for a 20-30 minute walk every day. At first, I didn’t like finding the time to do it, but I know it’s what is best for my overall health.
Everyone knows it’s important to get exercise every day, but making it sure it happens isn’t always easy. Find a babysitter to watch your kids for an hour a day so you can go to the gym or take the kids for a walk with you. There is more than one reason to stay active and taking steps to help prevent osteoarthritis is one of them.
For more tips on how to protect your knees, check out this article by Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center. You will find that it’s easier than you think to prevent things like arthritis.
To make an appointment or to find out more information about Dartmouth-Hitchcock Orthopaedics click here.
I partnered with the brand to write this article but every word is mine.