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Knee Knowledge, Yogic Munching, and Active Errands

Keep on running, yoga helps with mindful eating, and walking about town.

Run Away

Credit: .Larry Page

Credit: .Larry Page

I’ve heard it, thought it and even attributed a twinge in my knee to tacking another year onto my age. But despite the common notion that running is bad for your knees, research may show evidence to the contrary. (And I was so hoping for a reason to swear off running for good. Darn.)

Researchers for a recent study followed longtime distance runners for nearly 20 years, starting when most were in their 50s and 60s. At the start of the study, about 7 percent of runners had mildly arthritic knees, while none of the control group had creaky knees. But after 20 years, the runners’ knees were healthier—20 percent showed arthritic changes versus 32 percent of the control group. Researchers even think that runners might condition their cartilage so that it gets used to the movements, thus protecting them. I’m never going to win this anti-running war!

Run, run Rudolph.

Credit: lululemon athletica

Credit: lululemon athletica

Downward Facing Diet

Yoga is great for strength and flexibility, but now studies show that regular yoga practice is associated with mindful eating, and as we know, mindful eating is a big part of the battle of the bulge. Previous studies showed that yoga helped prevent weight gain in normal people and promoted loss in those who were overweight. But now researchers think that it has more to do with increased body awareness than the actual physical activity itself.

The researchers also found a strong association between yoga practice and mindful eating but didn’t find that same association in other types of physical activity, such as walking or running. Even if you’re not into yoga, try to be more mindful of when you’re hungry and when you’re full—you could get the same effect.

Mind over matter.

Walk Around

Credit: szlea

Credit: szlea

For now, I’m fortunate to live in a fairly walkable neighborhood. I can walk to the pharmacy, and if I just need a couple of items from the high-priced yet adorable corner grocery store, I can manage a round trip in about 25 minutes.

Besides being environmentally friendly, walking to do your errands also increases your activity level. A George Mason University professor is urging community leaders to make promoting active transport a priority. To get people away from relying on their cars as their sole means of transport, he suggests bike-sharing programs, giving cyclists priority at intersections and closing some roads to cars. My favorite idea? “Walking school buses” in which children and parents walk together to school. Presh!

Step by step. Oh baby.

Erin

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4 Comments
  1. lesley living life says:

    Interesting knee info … I'm not sure what I think about running yet but I think I like it? Ha.

    I like the walking bus idea! And random but I decided today I wish I had a treadmill desk at work so that I could walk slowly all day long at work instead of sitting on my rear all day long. (I'm not quite sure why I thought you should know that, other than the whole talking about walking thing??)

  2. Merry says:

    I love the idea of the walking buses, and the knee information is a good argument to use against my subconscious when I'm struggling to get out the door and go.
    I'm not convinced about the yoga part, because I thought that study was too narrowly focused on 28 questions aimed at European-American women. Even the authors of the study said someone should try the study with a wider group.

  3. katgirl_9538 says:

    that yoga/eating was interesting. i keep meaning to try yoga, and i hope once my half marathon (THIS WEEKEND!) is over i can start doing a few other activities besides just running again 🙂

    about the bike thing… when i was studying abroad in europe a few years ago, we noticed that they actually have bikes you can rent there. you just pay your money into the bike, ride it to wherever you are going, and leave it there for the next person to come along and need it. pretty nifty! and most cities have built in bike lanes along side their roads, making it so much more bike-friendly.

  4. Sagan says:

    Walking is the best activity ever! I'm always trying to get people to go out for walks with me rather than meeting for lunch and that sort of thing.