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New study finds running is good for your knees

Woman running

A recent study by Brigham Young University measured inflammation markers in the knee joint fluid of a limited sample of healthy men and women aged 18-35, both before and after running.

It was found that the specific markers they were looking for in the knee joint fluid decreased in the study participants after 30 minutes of running. When the same fluids were extracted before and after a period of time when the subjects weren’t running, the inflammation markers stayed at similar levels.

The study found that running is actually protective for your knee joint and I think there is truth in that.

'Motion is lotion'

I tell my patients that motion is lotion. You have to use your joint to lubricate it and this study helps confirm that. 

Exercise is medicine. If you could bottle exercise into a pill, you’d be the richest person in the world. It helps with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, depression, coronary artery disease, and the prevention of colon, breast, prostate and lung cancers. 

It’s incredible what exercise can do. 

How to start

For people who are interested in beginning an exercise routine, it’s important to realize that any amount of physical activity is better than not getting any at all.

Are you healthier if you walk 20 minutes than if you don’t? Yes. Is walking for 20 minutes better than sitting down for 20 minutes? Yes. 

If you can get your heart rate up and get your muscles working, that’s good for you.

The smartest way to get started is a gradual introduction into activity. Start by walking short distances, then increase your distance and speed building up to where you are eventually able to jog at a 5 or 6 mile-per-hour pace. This can take several months to a year to accomplish, but that’s okay.

Just get moving!


About Andrew Porter DO

I am associate director of the Via Christi Family Medicine Program and assistant director of the Via Christi Sports Medicine Fellowship. I am a team doctor for Wichita State University and Newman University in Wichita, Kan.