Thursday, October 4, 2007

What is good for your heart is also good for your knees

Even vigorous weight-bearing activity does not wear the cartilage but, on the contrary, makes it grow in volume. This has been shown in a study that assessed knee joints and physical activity in nearly three hundred healthy adults, fifty to seventy-nine years of age. The results dissipate all concerns about the strain that vigorous activity, as healthy as it may be for the heart, may impose on the knees. The good news: The knees are strong enough to support it. Even better, the joint cartilage grows stronger as the strain increases.

With the frequency and duration of vigorous weight-bearing activity, such as brisk walking, jogging, aerobics, cycling or strength training, this study has found an increase in the volume of the knee joint cartilage and a reduced risk of cartilage defects.

A word of caution: All subjects of this study never have had any knee injury or knee disease. Whoever feels pain in his knee should respect this signal and not overdo exercise. If jogging causes pain, walking or cycling may be better. If you have knee troubles, ask your physician about the best kind and intensity of exercise.

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