Knee problems? Don’t blame running!


If you think walking is a better way to exercise than running because it’s easier on your knees, you would be incorrect. That is according to a Canadian study that tested both the force and frequency of steps for runners and walkers. The New York Times published an article about this study on Wednesday. The conclusion stated, “Measured over a particular distance, ‘running and walking are essentially indistinguishable,’ in terms of the wear and tear they may inflict on knees.”

I know a few people who claim that they used to run, but can’t anymore, “because it hurt their knees.” I have no doubt that they think that’s true. I’ve always thought that knee problems are predetermined and would surface regardless of any sport that these people practiced. The article also quoted a doctor and kinesiology professor who said, “the study’s results intimate that running potentially could be beneficial against arthritis.” I thought so!

Today my wife and I repeated last Friday’s Bethpage experience with a 70 minute walk, primarily on the wooded trails. We alternated our walking with a few minutes of running. My wife runs 45 minutes a day on the treadmill, but she has never done a trail run. She loved the the spongy feel of the main trail and I took her on some of the less groomed paths within the interior sections. We walked the last couple of miles on the bike trail. I’m not sure how much ground we covered because I forget to bring my Fitbit.

Tomorrow I may return to Bethpage to run, using the metronome to try to further increase my cadence. It will also be an opportunity to run a few hills as I prepare for the long uphill climb on my upcoming 5K.

2 thoughts on “Knee problems? Don’t blame running!

  1. Interesting study! Great news about arthritis too! I was relieved when the podiatrist said I did not have arthritic toes. I feel like after 20+ years of running, if my knees haven't failed me by now, maybe they won't…ever? Knock on wood. Sounds like you and your wife had a really nice afternoon!


  2. My understanding of arthritis is that it's a genetic condition and not something that is caused by a specific action. I'll bet that your 20+ years of running has really benefited you in terms of maintaining bone density and probably combating long term joint and circulatory issues. Not to mention all the other great stuff that regular aerobic, anaerobic and cardio workouts do for both body and mind.The Bethpage walks over the last couple of weeks are great. We used to cover a lot of ground on foot every day and more on weekends when we lived in NYC. Having these trails so close by makes up for the loss of a Starbucks, produce market and restaurant on every corner!


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