Doctor’s tip: Keep on running
Regular aerobic exercise (hard enough so you could talk but not sing) is important for health and in increasing longevity and quality of life.
Brisk walking is fine, and running isn’t for everyone, but many of us enjoy running. Unfortunately, I see many people give up running when they get into their 50s or beyond, often after onset of a little knee pain during or after running. In people without structural problems with their knees (such as meniscus or ACL injuries, or bow leg or knock-knee deformities), running has never been shown to cause degenerative (osteo) arthritis, and has even been shown to prevent it, so mild knee pain related to running doesn’t mean you should quit running.
Here are some ways to prevent knee pain and other joint issues when you run: 1) Do Chi Running, which prevents heel striking and converts a high-impact activity into a low-impact one. 2) Buy Hoka shoes, which are designed to prevent heel striking and to decrease impact. 3) Run maybe two or at most three times a week, and do other activities such as walking or cycling the other days. 4) Avoid a lot of downhill running, which is very high impact.
You can buy a book on Chi Running and Hoka shoes at running stores such as Independence Run and Hike in Carbondale, or on the Internet.
Dr. Feinsinger of Carbondale, who retired in February from Glenwood Medical Associates after 41 years as a family physician, will provide a health tip each Tuesday in the Post Independent. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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