This one came to my attention on SportsGeezer’s website, that offers health, fitness and lifestyle tips for men and women over 40 who don’t want to quit.
It is commonly thought that running damages your knees, but is there any truth behind this widespread belief? According to this article the answer is no.
What’s more, the complete opposite has been shown to be true.
The persistent myth about exercise – and running, in particular – is that it increases joint problems, arthritis, and will ultimately destroy joints and lead to disability,” said William J. Evans, an exercise physiologist and chair of nutritional longevity at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Not only is this “not true,” he said, but the opposite is true: “There is decreased disability after decades of running.
In a new study by Dr. James Fries, a professor of medicine at Stanford University, which was, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, Fries gave annual questionnaires to 538 runners and 423 healthy men and women.
The results were as follows:
- All were at least 50 years old when the study began in 1984
- After 21 years of follow up, only 15 percent of the runners had died
- This is compared to 34 percent of the non-runners, a greater than two-fold difference!
- The runners were less likely to be disabled. They were able to delay disability (defined as anything that can make it more difficult to perform normal daily tasks) – by 16 years!
In another study, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Fries focused on 45 runners and 53 non-runners, all aged 50 or more in 1984, and gave them periodic knee X-rays to detect possible osteoarthritis. After 18 years of testing, there was no increase in risk among runners, he said.
The bottom line: Move it or lose it!
Here is the link again to the full article.