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Laurel Personal Trainer: Exercise Won't Bring You To Your Knees | Sports & Recreation

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Laurel Personal Trainer: Exercise Won't Bring You To Your Knees

This story comes to us from Joe Buabeng:

(LAUREL, MD March 9, 2011) – If you regularly work out at a moderate or intensive level, you may be concerned – as many people are – that exercise could “wear and tear” your knee joints. 

You can relax! A new research published last week in the scientific journal of the American College of Sports Medicine, the largest sports medicine and exercise science organization in the world, shows that physical activity is actually beneficial to knee health. 

“The main concern has always been that vigorous exercise could cause bony spurs called osteophytes, an overgrowth of bone tissue which develops in deteriorating joints and tendons,” says Joe Buabeng, a personal trainer at Fitness Optimist in Laurel, MD. “But these new findings clearly show that physical activity, if done correctly, is not harmful to the knees.” 

Buabeng explains that, according to the research, spurs may be the body's healthy response to ongoing stimulation from physical activity. “As a matter of fact, rather than hurting the knees, exercise has been shown to cause fewer injuries to the knee’s cartilage, a flexible connective tissue found in joints between bones,” he says. 

Buabeng points out that the study’s findings should reassure all those who forego exercise for the fear of injuring their knees. “It is understandable that people want to protect their knee joints as well as related muscles and tendons because they play such an important role in how we move and carry the body weight,” he notes.

“However, giving up physical activity altogether is not the answer. What you need is a safe way to exercise.” 

Everyone, and especially those who are susceptible to twisting and stretching injuries of the knee, would benefit from exercises and stretches that focus on the glutes, hips, quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.  

“A fitness professional can show you a whole range of exercises that are terrific for your knees’ strength and flexibility,” Buabeng says. “What is also important is maintaining a healthy body weight so your knees don’t buckle under the extra pressure, and also wearing appropriate footwear.” 

Buabeng adds that while exercise is good for the knees, it is beneficial for all the other joints and bones as well. 

“Lack of exercise can make your joints more painful by weakening the supporting muscles,” he says. “Just like for the knees, strength, flexibility and endurance training can make a world of difference in making all your joints less stiff and sore. Here too, a fitness instructor can guide you toward the most effective and safest exercises.”