Obesity, Exercise and Our Knees?

I hate working out. The thought of it makes me start to sweat. When I was younger, I always said things like, “if I ever become overweight or obese, I’ll work out then, but I am fine now.” I think I live a pretty active lifestyle. I regularly walk up stairs, I don’t drive my car down the driveway to pick up the mail and I can probably run a mile without stopping if I tried really hard.

Okay, so I don’t live an active lifestyle. But I never had to worry about my weight until the past few years.

The problem with thinking “once I become overweight, I’ll start working out” is – once you’re overweight it’s:

a) a lot harder to motivate yourself to exercise

b) a lot more susceptible to pain and injury than you were before

Obesity plays a dangerous contributor to orthopedic conditions like knee injuries and pain like arthritis.  Obesity is actually the most common cause to arthritis in knees.

Our knees are the largest joints in our bodies.  When healthy, they’re built to sustain up to 3-5 times of our body weight when we’re simply walking. If we run, that number climbs to 7-8 times our body weight.

So ironically, working out and exercising while obese can be extremely dangerous for our health. It then becomes a vicious downward cycle. We can’t work out because it hurts, but we hurt because we haven’t worked out.

The stress our soft tissue suffers when we carry excess weight can cause a number of issues. Some issues and conditions can be treated on your own without consulting a professional, but other orthopedic health concerns shouldn’t go untreated by a professional. I found a great team of Indianapolis orthopedic surgeons that were able to help me.

When extra weight bears down on our knees, it can lead to:

So, when working out to live a healthier lifestyle, be aware that if you’re overweight, there are extra precautions to take to protect your knees and other body parts from injury and pain.

  • Wear a knee brace to stabilize the knee and improve function [AAOS]
  • Wear shoes that will protect your foot arches

The moral of the story is that we should all be choosing a healthy lifestyle now. If we wait to exercise until we’re not happy with the way our bodies look, we are likely exposing ourselves to a new list of potential problems with pain and injuries.  One study found that loosing just 11 pounds reduced osteoarthritis pain by as much as 50%!  So, what have you got to lose?

Justin Shimp

Justin Shimp works as a digital handyman at SmallBox Web Design.

3 thoughts on “Obesity, Exercise and Our Knees?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *