lose weight, save your knees
I was talking to a client in one of my small group training classes last night about her weight loss journey so far. She has lost a significant amount of weight, and as she’s shed the pounds the pain in her bad knee has begun to fade. This has given her so much more motivation because as she’s stronger and in less pain, she’s able to intensify and lengthen her exercise sessions as well as build up the strength in the leg muscles supporting her knees. Her weight loss is compounded by her improving health…a win-win in my opinion!
As she spoke about her improving joints, I remembered a fact I had read awhile back that discussed the correlation of weight loss and the impact on the knee joints. Well I found the source of that fact: it happened to be pulled from a 2005 study by researchers at Wake Forest University. After studying 142 overweight and obese adults aged 60-89 years old (mostly female, white, and sedentary) placed on a weight loss plan over an 18-month period, the researchers analyzed the participants’ weight loss, change in BMI, and the compressive load on the knee joint.
The study concluded that for every one pound of body weight lost there is a four pound reduction in the load exerted on the knees with each step taken. That means that small weight loss can mean big gains for your knees! If you think about the effects of four less pounds with each step over many years, you’re saving yourself a good amount of knee stress.
Just a little more motivation for you if you’re trying to drop some pounds!
photo credit: eHow Blog