Friday, January 17, 2014

Jogging for older people is not harmful

My eye was drawn to the recent Ask Well feature in The New York Times headlined Is Jogging Bad for Older People? And I was heartened by the answer that it is not.

The column starts with this question:

Is there any scientific study to substantiate the claim that older people (over 45) should limit high-impact  exercises like jogging, sprinting, etc?

The answer, according to writer Gretchen Reynolds, is: "Actually, much of the recent science about high-impact exercise by 'older people' like me – I prefer the team 'seasoned' by the way – reaches the opposite conclusion, suggesting that in many cases high-impact exercise can be beneficial for those middle-aged and beyond."

Running and other high-impact exercises improve bone density, and, contrary to popular belief, do not increase the risk of osteoarthritis of the knees and joints and might even have a protective effect against bone degeneration, according to experts quoted in the story.

I am in no way near getting back to jogging, but I am going to try a run/walk in the spring. This despite various people telling me that I'm killing my knees and might even be too old to try it again.

Tennis has been going well, and since we play on hard courts, that is high-impact enough for me right now.

Meanwhile, at the end of the day yesterday I realized that I hadn't had any pain or taken a pain pill all day. This put me in a good mood.

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