Updated: Oct 26, 2022
According to a document produced by Public Health England, approximately 1 in 5 adults aged over 45 years have osteoarthritis in the knee. In the very same document they say, painful arthritis can be prevented through tackling the issue of lack of physical activity. NICE recommend holistic treatments such as exercise and weight loss for osteoarthritis.
Surely walking puts stress on the knee joints and triggers pain, doesn't it?
Well, it's the opposite! Walking sends more blood and nutrition to the knee joints, and the bones can become stronger in response to pain. In fact, a lack of stress on the knees can cause bone mass loss of up to 1% per week. Weight bearing exercise such as walking increases bone density. Stress on the joints actually helps! If you're not used to walking, start small & build up to longer walks, when you're ready.
Bi-products of Walking More
You may lose weight by moving more.
Exercise aids sleeping by boosting the natural sleep hormones like melatonin.
Walking increases aerobic activity so its good for heart health.
Walking can improve mental health because it encourages the brain to release endorphins also knowns as happy hormones.
Vitamin D absorption. Our bodies need vitamin D to help improve bone density (among other things). The majority of vitamin D is formed by sunlight, the rest absorbed from our diet and the food we eat.
Using the Strava app can be fun (other apps are available) and, you never know, it may motivate you to walk further than last time. Optional challenges, for example, walk 50km in January can help keep pushing you towards your goals. Sign up to the basic, free account for this; no need to pay.
Take your mobile phone! If you're heading off the beaten track, its advisable to use the What3Words app. It's impressive, it plots your exact location within a 3 meter square and is now used by many of the emergency services in the UK to help locate people in need of their assistance.