September 28, 2007
Exercise Slows Joint Aging?

Moderate exercise appears to reduce the risk of developing osteoarthritis.

For a clearer picture of the impact of physical activity on the knee joint, a team of researchers in Australia turned to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). This highly accurate high-tech tool makes it possible to directly visualize joint structures, detect early and pre-disease states of OA, and assess the influence of potential risk factors. Taking advantage of this novel methodology, the researchers studied the effect of physical activity, in various degrees of intensity, frequency, and duration, on knee structures in a total of 257 healthy adults between the ages of 50 and 79, with no history of knee injury or OA. Their findings, presented in the October 2007 issue of Arthritis Care & Research, suggest that exercise that is good for the heart is also good for the knee.

Obviously the exercise an NFL quarterback gets while getting slammed into by an offensive lineman isn't covered by this study. Those guys do real damage to each other and live to suffer the results the rest of their lives.

Exercise that gets the heart pumping builds up cartilage volume in joints.

Among the notable findings, both baseline and current vigorous physical activity— exercise that gets the heart pumping and the body sweating—were associated with an increase in tibial cartilage volume, free from cartilage defects. What’s more, tibial cartilage volume increased with frequency and duration of vigorous activity. Recent weight-bearing exercise was also linked to increased tibial cartilage volume and reduced cartilage defects. Finally, moderate physical activity, including regular walking, was associated with a lower incidence of bone marrow lesions.

So exercise probably reduces the risk of bone fractures as well.

Sweat it up at least 20 minutes per week.

“Our data suggest that at least 20 minutes once per week of activity sufficient to result in sweating or some shortness of breath might be adequate. This is similar to, if not somewhat less than, the recommendations for cardiovascular health,” Dr. Cicuttini observes.

You already ought to be getting as much or more exercise for your heart anyway.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2007 September 28 08:04 AM  Aging Exercise Studies

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