Friday, March 9, 2012

What I Kneed

Runner's World Magazine posted this funny photo on Facebook this week. It really struck a nerve with me (hardy har har), because I'd already been thinking of posting about my poor knees. I only wish I were feeling the aches of distance running! Instead, my knees are just suffering from having way too much weight on them.

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons has done tests on how obesity negatively affects the knees. Most of those tests were done on the "morbidly" obese (BMI greater than 45), and I don't fall into that category. However, simple logic tells me that ANY extra weight on a joint is going to cause extra strain on that joint as well.

Right now, my knees don't bother me when I just walk around. I've only noticed pain lately because I've been going up and down stairs more, and THAT is when they hurt. It's not a severe pain, but rather a frequent reminder that there is work to be done. I'd like to be climbing stairs with ease well into old age. In order to have healthy knees then, I need to take care of them now.

The good news is that the journey has begun once again -- I got on the treadmill last night! Maybe I can break out of the vicious cycle of laziness, and start a new, more benevolent cycle, wherein the stair climbing reminds me that I need to walk/run, and the walking/running leads to weight loss and stronger knees, in turn leading to easier trips up and down the stairs. Doesn't that sound nice?

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