February 18th, 2011
02:31 PM ET

Will jogging hurt an obese person's joints?

Every weekday, a CNNHealth expert doctor answers a viewer question. On Friday, it's Dr. Melina Jampolis, a physician nutrition specialist.

Asked by John Simmet, St. Paul, Minnesota

I am male, 55, 6 feet 5, 300 pounds. I am in good health (other than weight), active in biking and weight training but am interested in jogging. Am I too large to train for a 10K? Would that be detrimental to my joints?

Expert answer

Hi, John. I'm so glad that you asked this important question. Jogging is a terrific, simple and low-cost way to lose weight as it burns significantly more calories (up to 65% more) than walking or biking, but many people who are overweight or obese probably avoid it due to fear of joint injury.

I consulted with orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist Dr. A Shabi Khan, who explained that biomechanical studies have never proven that running, even marathon running, promotes cartilage damage in a normal knee.

What constitutes a normal knee? It means that you have had no significant knee injury in the past and that you have no evidence, whether by X-ray, MRI or physical examination, of arthritis or cartilage damage in the knee. So even if you are overweight or obese, if you have no existing knee damage, it's OK to try jogging.

If you have evidence of arthritis in the knee, persistent or recurrent knee pain, or history of a previous knee injury, this does not necessarily mean that you can't jog at all.

Depending on the severity of your arthritis or past injury, you could consider cross training in addition to jogging to get in shape for the 10K without putting too much strain on your knee.

This could include continuing the bike and using the elliptical machine or StairMaster. In addition, make sure to continue your strength training, and focus on strengthening your quadriceps (front of the thigh), which are important for runners. The two main exercises for quadriceps include leg extensions (usually done on an exercise machine) and squats.

If you have knee problems, I highly recommend seeing a physical therapist or orthopedic surgeon for evaluation before starting a vigorous jogging training program. And of course, make sure to get medical clearance from your doctor before stepping up (no pun intended) your cardiovascular exercise regimen.

soundoff (80 Responses)
  1. Lincoln Brigham

    Dr. Jampolis said,
    "Jogging ...burns significantly more calories (up to 65% more) than walking or biking"

    This is only true if you bike slowly. A Tour de France rider probably burns well in excess of 1,000 calories per hour. A heavier rider going at full tilt would burn even more.

    Most calorie calculations do a horrible job at accounting for intensity of effort. For example, jogging is really only a natural progression of faster and faster walking. Running is a fast jog, sprinting is a fast run. Even though walking, jogging, running, and sprinting are all only variations of the same form of locomotion, the rate of calories burned varies tremendously by the effort expended.

    It's not the type of exercise that determines the number of calories burned, it's the effort put into the exercise that is the primary determinant of the rate of calories being burned. Jogging is not a "terrific" form of exercise; it's merely better than nothing. Yes, it's cheap and it's simple. It's also a time-consuming, brute force method of exercise that does little for strength, flexibility, coordination, or upper body conditioning. It also has a history of fatalities and other injuries including collisions with motor vehicles (the car always wins.)

    February 18, 2011 at 14:53 | Report abuse | Reply
    • M

      Obviously youre a biker. The real calculation is much more complex than even youre saying. At the end of the day though, sprinting, running, or jogging burn far more calories than biking.

      February 18, 2011 at 14:59 | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      Yeah...except for the passive-aggressive attack on jogging, I have to agree. Power walking or running intervals would be a better choice for this individual in terms of maximizing his caloric burn.

      February 18, 2011 at 15:41 | Report abuse |
    • Dershishishi

      "For the level of condition that I have now, that was without a doubt the hardest physical thing I have ever done."
      -Lance Armstrong on running the NYC marathon

      February 18, 2011 at 15:54 | Report abuse |
    • Fred

      Joggers Vs. Cyclists : FIGHT!

      I prefer biking simply because walking or jogging is too slow. It doesn't feel productive at all, and it frustrates me.

      February 18, 2011 at 18:42 | Report abuse |
    • Lincoln Brigham

      @ M - no, I'm not a biker
      @ Dershishishi - perceived level of effort is not the same as calories burned. Yes, it's more difficult for Lance Armstrong to run a marathon than to ride in the Tour de France. It should be; he's in better shape for the Tour de France.

      A cyclist like Lance Armstrong might ride at a sustained pace of around 500 watts while a bigger, faster sprint cyclist might peak at 2,000 watts. Meanwhile a recreational cyclist might tool around town at 30 watts output. The range of exertion is potentially enormous.

      February 18, 2011 at 21:08 | Report abuse |
    • The_Mick

      So you think a 300 lb man is going to burn up calories like a Tour de France biker?

      Besides, if a runner runs faster, he'll also burn more calories.

      A runner burns up about 2/3 his weight in calories for each mile run. In one hour, if John fast-walks 6 miles, he'll burn up about 1200 Calories. If he runs slowly and covers 9 miles, that's 1800 Cal. That sure beats your biker's 1000Cal.

      February 19, 2011 at 08:11 | Report abuse |
    • Lincoln Brigham

      @ The_Mick
      Check your math.
      Check your sources.

      A 300 lb. man is unlikely to be able to have the conditioning necessary to run 10-minute miles for an hour straight. He would have to run the equivalent of back-to-back 5k races in 30 minutes each. That would be ... impressive. A top cyclist can sustain a high rate of effort for several hours, however.

      Which do you think burns more calories? Usain Bolt sprinting 200 meters eight times in a training session or Joe Jogger running a mile in 10 minutes? Bolt's workout will cover a mile in about 3 minutes total runing time. If you think the calories consumed are equal then you need to retake basic high school Physics. Yes, the total work is equal. The total power output is completely different however. Power comes at a price, ask any decent engineer.

      February 19, 2011 at 12:49 | Report abuse |
    • Lincoln Brigham

      @ The _Mick

      I have seen 300 lb. men hit over well over 2,000 calories per hour on an indoor rower. Top weightlifters in the superheavy category have been measured at 4,000 watts of power (8 times Lance Armstrong's average power output). Sustaining high rates of power is a different matter entirely. Your example of a 300 lb. man running 9 miles "slowly" to burn 1,800 calories is a prime example – it looks good on paper but in reality getting him to run that far is highly unlikely. By the time he gets into shape enough to run 9 miles he probably won't be 300 lbs. anymore. The math you're using runs into serious problems when it hits the road.

      Generating a high rate of calorie burn is mostly a matter of pace, pain tolerance, and conditioning, Take nearly any exercise that recruits large muscles, bump up the pace until it hurts and hang on until you simply can't go any more. THAT is what will produce the highest rate of calorie burn. The choice of exercise is almost immaterial.

      February 19, 2011 at 13:08 | Report abuse |
    • Cole

      Uh... And? I can already burn 1000+ calories/hour on an elliptical. What's your point?

      If you're going to bring in Tour de France level cyclists, I'll bring in professional marathoners. At the insane pace they run, and figuring about 100 cals per mile, they're easily above the 1k calorie/hour mark. Heck, bring in the swimmer, who'll probably top both of them. Here's the obvious part: The more muscle groups you use, the higher your calorie burn.

      But, oh, wait, none of that is relevant, since we're talking about non-professionals. Not even that, but someone who can be considered to be overweight. Even the average fit person can't sustain 10 MPH running, let alone an equivalent power pace on a bike.

      Training for a 10k run is a great goal, not just for the 300 pound guy, but for everyone. It'll take a lot of work and a fitness goal is a lot better than a weight goal.

      February 19, 2011 at 19:18 | Report abuse |
    • Run!

      You have to try both to find that running and biking don't even compare, or rather it's just simply to observe and notice the major differences between the two sports to again realize that the two DON'T compare.

      Think: at a small pace running you are supporting your weigh and pushing ahead. Biking, you are on your butt and barely pressing oh the pedals.
      At a fast pace, running you are all out and still supporting your own weigh. Biking, you may support your weigh for moments and simply press harder on the pedals....... Why don't you compare biking with golf, that's a lot closer.

      February 19, 2011 at 23:17 | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      Hi John,

      Just an FYI, being 6'5 and 300 pounds, your BMI is above 35, I would focus on losing weight, whether its jogging or other excercise, and try to cut down on what you eat.

      February 20, 2011 at 11:33 | Report abuse |
  2. M

    Expert answer??? How can this be considered an expert answer? DO NOT aggressively train if youre that overweight. This "expert" is saying that it is ok to run on an uninjured knee..... Well, you're GOING TO injure it.

    February 18, 2011 at 15:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Josh

      The answer is quite clear and balanced: If he has no history of knee injuries or problems, "it's OK to try jogging." No mention of "yes, random internet person, run until your legs break." He also clearly states that he should seek medical clearance before changing an existing regimen.

      February 18, 2011 at 15:20 | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      My doctor completely disagrees with this and has instructed me to not run.

      February 18, 2011 at 15:59 | Report abuse |
    • M

      Yea I understand the sentence. Its stupid. Its not OK to try jogging. Talk to any overweight/obese person. They all have knee problems. Lose the weight with low-impact exercise, THEN try jogging.

      February 18, 2011 at 16:20 | Report abuse |
    • Keibh

      @M: I'm a woman who is 5'3" and weighs 220lbs and my knees are just great, thanks. You should avoid making blanket statements in the future.

      February 18, 2011 at 18:04 | Report abuse |
    • O

      Wow, are you ignorant. Not all overweight/obese people have knee problems. According to my BMI, I'm obese, yet I've RUN a marathon, 8 half marathons, and a half-ironman distance triathlon, along with dozens of other shorter road races and triathlons.

      February 18, 2011 at 18:17 | Report abuse |
    • Kris

      I was obese 3 years ago. I have lost 70 lbs. I did it with jogging 30 minutes a day; An friend is an orthopedist who I only see in the summers. Watching me walk after the first 40 lbs came off, he though I had undergone hip replacement surgery over the winter. My hip and knee joints are so much better after losing the weight..and a careful jogging program was the key.

      February 19, 2011 at 19:27 | Report abuse |
  3. Faire_la_amour-@55

    John in St Paul:

    Consider doing your runs on a gym's tread mill at some incline 2-3% for starters. This would put less stress on your knees than outdoors. as the NIKE ad says "Just do it". Listen to your body. It wants to be lean and mean

    I am in a similair sitiuation. I'm 6-2 was 265 at the beginning of the year now I'm down to 252. Cut down on the fast food and Cook stuff yourself. The results will surprise you.. Good luck and Run for fun !!!

    February 18, 2011 at 15:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Brian Olsen

    How about a Nordic Track ski machine? You can get one used on craigslist or ebay like for $100-$200-$300. No joint impact at all. Burns a lot of calories. Great machine!

    February 18, 2011 at 15:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Run!

      Good running hurts, even if briefly while you get started –like most sports there's some discomfort with most physical activities. The true reason why most people don't do anything is plain laziness supported by all sorts of excuses. Majority quits or get fear the first sign of discomfort and so go on to fabricate elaborate excuses supported by half-facts. Reality is that we adapt and as noted on the article, the body is designed to tolerate a lot and activities only make it stronger while the opposite is true and well-know as well, lack of activities makes people obese and SICK.

      February 19, 2011 at 23:33 | Report abuse |
  5. Jim

    Three years ago my 5'5" frame weighed in at 230 lbs. I've brought that down to 160 and the first exercise that got me on the path to a healthy weight was jogging. No it wasn't pretty, and yes I had achy joints but the fact is running is as natural as breathing (read Born to Run, anyone?) and is a catalyst for a healthy body. Of course there is a risk that this individual will suffer an injury, but I believe it is worth it.

    Having said all of this, if his goal is merely to maximize his calories burned per unit of time, he would probably be better off investigating some form of interval running/biking/swimming or full body exercises.

    February 18, 2011 at 15:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Chetan

    "explained that biomechanical studies have never proven that running, even marathon running, promotes cartilage damage in a normal knee"

    Can I have referances for that studies? Thanks.

    February 18, 2011 at 16:03 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Eric

      are you asking for references to every study that ever failed to prove that running hurts knees?

      February 18, 2011 at 16:41 | Report abuse |
  7. Seph

    Well when you weigh the potential orthopedic injuries versus those of being overweight, I would presume that after medical consultation (with a PCP who actually knows your history) the implementation of a jogging regimen would be beneficial...in short a bum knee will not kill you....complications resulting from obesity on the other hand will

    February 18, 2011 at 16:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Kristine

    NO Do not EVER do leg extensions! They are so hard on your knees. Our gym has abolilshed them and the Physical Therpist and the chiropracter have told me to never do them again either. If you do, you defnitely will have a knee injury before it is all over. And don't train your quads without trianing your hamstrings. You have got to have balance between these two.

    February 18, 2011 at 16:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Vera

    To learn more about the Breast Cancer Summit, take a look at this link: http://www.breasthealthandhealing.com/Summit/index.html#2010Summit

    February 18, 2011 at 17:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Charles

    In response to the question of calories burned, both with pedestrian activities (running, jogging, walking) and biking, calories burned are a function of distance times mass. Time is actaully not a factor except in so far as the faster you go, the more distance you cover per unit of time. Per unit of distance, pedestrian action burns about 3 times the calories as biking. So a cyclist travelling 30 miles will burn the same calories as someont the same wieght running 10 miles. Now if cyclist is fast and does it in an hour but the runner is slow only covers five miles in the same hour, then the cyclist burns twice as many colories in the hour. Generally speaking however, the average cyclist only goes twice as fast as the average runner so in the same time frame the average runner burns more calories.

    Regarding knee damage, it is a question of biomechanics. A heal strike dlivers 5 times the body weight of the runner to the to the knee whereas a midsole stike delivers only 2 times the body weight of the runner to the knee. Therefore a 300lb runner with good biomechanics will deliver 600lbs of force to the knee; well within what the body can tolerate. A 200lb runner with bad biomechanics is putting 1000lbs of force to the knee; much worse, even though the runner is much lighter.

    I am 195lbs. I work with a mirror, barefoot running (imposible to heal stirke), do core work and other exercizes to hone my form. I run 50 miles a week and run 4-6 ultra marathons a year (50 -100 miles races). With bad form, I am sure my knees would be shot, but with good form, I have not had a single running injury in the last six years.

    February 18, 2011 at 17:31 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lincoln Brigham

      Charles said,
      "calories burned are a function of distance times mass."

      This is true only when comparing endurance activities in a relatively narrow range of effort. Sprinting and other maximal power activities consume many more calories per unit of work than slower paces. Like a jet fighter hitting the afterburners, high power activities require more fuel per unit of work than low power activities. The problem is that introducing the concept of power to the maths used by the average nutritionist seems to be quite inconvenient, so they typically ignore it altogether.

      February 18, 2011 at 19:05 | Report abuse |
    • SSLuna

      Charles – do you run barefoot or with a minimalist shoe? Do you have a specific source that tells of the 5x to 2x body weight impact ratio you referenced? I would love access to that material.

      February 19, 2011 at 19:53 | Report abuse |
  11. Charles

    Sources for my last comment:

    Born to Run
    Chi Running
    Sports Nutrician for the Endurnance Athlete
    The Complete Book of Running (Nokes PhD)
    Run Your First Marathon
    Core Training for Runners

    February 18, 2011 at 17:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. gee

    well, i am kind of overweight and i can tell you from personal experience that jogging or running in twith extra weight, is not only tough on your joints, bot it is also hard on your heart, both of wghich are already working overtime. well my take on this is that obese people should exercise moderately and when they are at a comforatable weight, they can start with a more vigorous program. actually diet and cleansing are better ways to loose weight than exercise to strat with. if you have a toxin build up in your body (cause of extra weight in most cases) it will not let you loose weight even if you try hard. so first cleanse, then diet, then exercise!

    February 18, 2011 at 21:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Steve Williams

    uh, to anyone overweight or not, forget your doctor......jog, walk, swim, bike, pull your pud, do anything except watch Oprah. If it starts to hurt slow down or stop and rest until it doesn't hurt. Eat healthy, drink alot of water, then try again a few hours later or the next day. Repeat until you die of old age. Any other advise here is nonsense.

    February 18, 2011 at 23:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Dan

    Quick fact-exercise sucks for weight loss.

    February 19, 2011 at 00:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. NYGuy

    If you search the internet for information related to the "Couch to 5k" and "Couch to 10k" and overweight people, you'll find plenty of overweight and obese people who've successfully gotten into jogging and lost weight successfully. I have done it myself, and dropped about 50 pounds so far. When I've had mild knee aching, I take a few days off jogging, then spend a few days doing lower knee-impact cardio before I resume jogging.

    To minimize knee injuries, I recommend starting out with treadmill running (later with modest incline), alternating with *intense* elliptical machine sessions, bike riding and other cardio activity. Once you've got your endurance up and lost a bit of weight, and built up some jogging confidence, try some outdoor jogs.

    I think poster Steve Williams above basically got it right – getting off your ass and living a more active lifestyle in general is one of the best things you can do for yourself. If jogging is part of that, great, if it seems to make your knees hurt, find something else that works for you.

    Now, to actually lose weight, you will need to combine that with eating less and healthier. Exercise makes you feel good, keeps you focused and motivated, and burns calories, but by itself is actually a rather ineffective way to lose weight. I personally found that consuming far fewer carbs, especially earlier in the day helped the weight start melting away. Avoid going on anything you have to call a "diet", just make good lifestyle changes that you can stick with for the long haul.

    The only caveat is that the person asking this question is in his mid-50s and may have been overweight for a long time, so I'd make sure to get a proper cardiac workup by a cardiologist before starting any major exercise program, including a stress echocardiogram. Of course, the riskiest thing you can do is *not* losing the extra weight, as several other posters suggest.

    February 19, 2011 at 02:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Mr.

    Hell yeah its going to hurt your joints then again your are 6'5, i suggest you schange diet and do elliptical or other cardio work out to lose some weight first then try the jogging

    February 19, 2011 at 06:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Mike

    Resistance Training! It will keep your body fat down, your heart healthy, and your muscles strong! Running while you're "obese" (as I am according to my BMI, which as we all know is a number calculated by your height and weight and has nothing to do with body fat) is bad on your joints. You can get your heart rate up to it's target beats per minute by walking at about 2.0 mph and 21% incline. I went into the Marine Corps with healthy knees, and came out in braces. Running on concrete is probably the worst thing you can do for your joints, but thats the cheap and mindless way to keep in shape so the Corps sticks to it. I started having my Marines lift weights with me and all of their PFT scores went through the roof.

    February 19, 2011 at 09:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Faire_la_amour-@55

    John, The board is nit picking about the relative value of this exercise or that. I would not spend the time reading the suggestions I would just go out and "Do it".

    Listen to your body and have fun. You don't have to overthink Exercising . 90 percent of the battle is getting your workout gear on and walking out the door.

    February 19, 2011 at 11:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. ss

    cycling is for wussies

    February 19, 2011 at 12:53 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Run!

      You have to be gay to put on tights.

      February 19, 2011 at 23:27 | Report abuse |
  20. motoricker

    Jogging while significantly overweight will DEFINITELY harm your joints. It is a good exercise, and I do it. But lose weight by some other activity like cycling before starting to jog. Diet is also always the main component. I know because I have been up and down the weight scales by about 60 lbs myself a couple times. "Your joints" are not just your knees! It is your feet, arches, ankles, hips, etc. Extra weight INDISPUTABLY puts much greater stress on them. Don't be fooled by people who have never really done it.

    February 19, 2011 at 15:47 | Report abuse | Reply
    • geeky

      This is not true. You should start with walking with jogging mixed in, just maybe a minute at a time. Google "couch to 5k". I went from overweight an out of shape to running a half marathon a few years later. Run slowly and listen to your body, and do some research on proper form. Do not land your heel and don't try to run too fast until you've built a base for at least 6 months.

      February 19, 2011 at 21:14 | Report abuse |
  21. Truth

    I don't know about his joints, but it could be hard on people's eyes.

    February 19, 2011 at 16:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Species8472

    If the 300 lb man goes out and pushes too much, then he WILL injure himself. It may be a joint, it may be cartilage, it may be a muscle, tendon, or ligament group. The guy should start off by walking a few miles and gradually build up to running.

    This orthopedic surgeon's stance is absurd.

    February 19, 2011 at 16:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. becca

    It's so great that the patient wants to move. Motivation is key! So many people don't want to exert themselves and refuse to do any physical movement. The body is meant to move so...use it or lose it. But yes, certainly start slow and work up the pace!

    February 19, 2011 at 20:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. meee

    Round is a shape so the mans already in shape

    February 19, 2011 at 21:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Carol

    No where in the question does John state he is obese or just starting to be active. He is 6 ft 5 and 300 lbs, but is already active in biking and weight lifting. He could be a very muscular person who happens to weigh 300 lbs who wants to lose 20 lbs or so. He's only 70 lbs more than me, and I am a foot shorter. I jog on a treadmill and am learning to love it; I also study martial arts and can do fifty each of pushups, crunches, jumping jacks and burpees – after the class is over. I think he's more concerned about the strain on his joints but no where does it indicate he is obese or inactive. Yes a bmi indicator would say that, but honestly – BMI takes only two numbers into account and leaves a lot of loose ends. Everyone seems to be assuming he is a) terribly out of shape and b) doesn't currently exercise. I think a person who is already active can absolutely start jogging – their body will let them know if it's too much. He's aiming for a 10K – awesome!

    February 19, 2011 at 21:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. G

    At 6 ft I weighed 220 lbs. I lost 60 lbs by jogging daily for an hour @ 6 mph and watching my calorie intake. It took me just 4 months to reach my goal. I stuck to the treadmill or an outdoor jogging track. Recently I started doing weights to build muscle mass.

    Jogging is perhaps one of the easiest and most convenient forms of exercise, particularly for those wanting to lose weight

    February 19, 2011 at 23:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Mark Cucuzzella MD

    The more important question may be ....what are the biomechanics of "jogging". Naturally without wearing shoes at a certain speed a person with transition from a walk to a run with light quick and short steps, which produce no abnormal torque forces on the knee. This is a natural motion that we were designed to do. When you put an elvated cushioned heel on a shoe and allow a heel strike gait pattern with a slow rythym there is increased torque on the knee. So in brief...learn good running techniqu and then go run. We have a webiste devoted to this http://www.trtreads.org. Mark Cucuzzella MD

    February 20, 2011 at 07:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. comeonpeople

    comeon. this is common sense. Joints/cartilage/bones/the underlying structure of ANYthing, and Everything will suffer stress, no matter if you are 100 or 500 pounds. It's just a matter of time when breakdown overcomes the ability to rebuild. Everyone on here saying "its ok to run, just do it"... fools

    its this mentality that explains how/why the american public (voters) allow idiots to get elected (and worse continue to "stand up for their party" even though the party has done wrong or is not making any progress "for the people") and why the public allows congress to continue failed budget planning (example, the current congress still has not finished 2010 budget and its gd 2011, what about 2012 , 2013, 2014). talk about a elephant in the living room

    yea, go ahead all you overweight people, JOG ALL YOU WANT, IT WONT HURT YOU ONE BIT

    February 20, 2011 at 07:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Carolae

    Not just men but women as well who are obese. After a time of running/jogging on the pavement, your knees give out and you will need a knee replacement(s). How anyone can let themselves go is beyond me.....so many medical issues one faces when they are fat......obese is a milder spin off.

    February 20, 2011 at 08:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Spud J Dog

    Wow, I can't believe nobody has brought religion into this. What exercise would Jebus choose?

    February 20, 2011 at 08:54 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sugarland

      I don't know who Jebus is. Does he jog?

      February 21, 2011 at 02:08 | Report abuse |
  31. jf

    I would like to know why the original article recommends leg extensions for somebody worried about knee problems. The vast majority of the exercise and PT community agrees that they are damaging to the joints. I would not trust somebody's advice who is so far behind on the latest in exercise physiology.

    February 20, 2011 at 09:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. lakewest

    The stress on the knee joint is a function of the load imposed upon it. Therefore, any excess load (weight) will and can lead to degenerative processes within the joint..more rapid erosion of joint cartilage, for example. It's simple mechanics. That said, exercise of any sort is good...walking, jogging.... and over time that will diminish the obesity that stresses the joint

    February 20, 2011 at 09:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Sugarland

    Jogging is hard on everyone's joints. Obviously if one is overweight it's even harder on ankles,knees and hips. Just living is hard on all joints. It's just a medical condition, we wear out. There are several things one can do to minimize the damage, good shoes, soft surfaces, etc. a fast walk is less damaging. I've found a surefire solution, a real soft chair.

    February 20, 2011 at 16:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Eric

    If you want to lose weight, take up indoor rowing on a rowing machine. An hour of serious training, five days a week, will get you down to your healthiest weight in a few months.

    February 20, 2011 at 17:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Brian

    A BMI is a screening test for obesity, and does not take into account body composition. Until we all become wrestlers, body builders, or football players (who have a lot of lean body mass), it's a good test. However screening tests are just the beginning, a signal that further evaluation should be done.

    February 20, 2011 at 18:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. doight

    When you have a BMI over 35 you are definitely gone to put lot of strain on the cartilage in the knee joint. It is simple physics. The joint wasn't designed for that type of load. While the development of OA in the knees is multifactorial why would you not lose weight and then jog. Unless you don't have a job, and a family, portion control will get rid of the weight and simply walking 45 minutes per day will be enough activity. It is not only the knees that will thank you but also your feet and ankles. At a BMI over 35 surgeons in Canada get an obesity fee when the do surgery due to the extar difficulty involved in operating on these large mammals. Personally I wouldn't listen to an orthopedic surgeon concerning exercise they are just overpaid carpenters. .

    February 20, 2011 at 18:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. mclj2011

    Swimming is the least impactful exercise method that I've found, when it comes to my joints. Elliptical trainers feel a lot better to my knees than a treadmill, and they allow for working at my own pace. It's probably all a matter of what feels right for you, as well as what your doctor recommends.

    February 20, 2011 at 20:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Sportsmeddoc

    RUnning has been proven to damage joints- THE EXPERT IS CLEARLY NOT AN EXPERT- recent MRI studies using a special scanner for research has shown that running damages cartilage of the knees at the cell level and the effects last for at least 3 months after a single run. In obese people, this is magnified significantly. In fact, the forces across the knee cap joint (patellofemoral) is 10x body weight going up/down inclines. The cartilage cannot handle that over time. Obesity has been scientifically proven to cause arthritis in prediposed people. To lose wieght requires NO DIET, NO DRUGS just knowledge: eat as clean as you can 6 days a week- eat every 2-3 hours small meals no larger than the size of your fist ALL with lean protein, complex carbs (whole grains- no flour, no white stuff, YAMS are great, quinoa, use sprouted grains and try and stay away from wheat when possible – it is inflammatory), green veggies and good fats (walnut oil, olive oil, flax etc) eat within 60 minutes of waking up in am- workout in am (45-60 min is all you need), do interval training 3-5 days a week (3-4 minutes HARD with 30-60 sec rest, 10 min warm-up, 5 min stretch, 40 min workout, 5 min cool down/stretch), 1 day off a week and 1 day of stretch/yoga for 60 min. Also, eat within 60 min of workout to build muscle (this is the time when muscle needs nutrients to heal, ideal is 4 parts carbs to 1 part protein) Good AM is 3 egg whites and 2 eggs with 1/4 cup oatmeal with flax. Use whole foods or sprouted grains and stay away from ALL FLOUR (EVEN WHOLE GRAIN FLOUR) and all processed foods. Easy on alcohol (screws up hormones) take 1 day off (same day every week) and eat whatever you want BUT small portions and still every 2-3 hours. Even eat right before you sleep BUT SMALL MEAL. Every 4th day, increase calorie input (add 1 extra meal a day)- USe plyometrics or body weight OR use light weights but need resistance to build muscle. You can drop ALL of your weight in 3 months if you have discipline. A slow metabolism is only an issue in SEVERE metabolic problems- 99% of Americans have a problem of EATING to much and not properly- EDUCATE yourself- don't pay for gimmicks or diets- Keep a log- If you want it you can do it. It is about changing habits and OWNING your bad habits- the human body did not come with a manual and unfortunately, the medical community is often lacking the knowledge also. All of this will increase your metabolic rate and burn fat , build muscle and lead to a fit happy you.

    February 20, 2011 at 20:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. bpk

    Long distance running and knee osteoarthritis. A prospective study.
    Chakravarty EF, Hubert HB, Lingala VB, Zatarain E, Fries JF.

    Division of Immunology and Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, California 94304, USA. echakravarty@stanford.edu

    BACKGROUND: Prior studies of the relationship of physical activity to osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee have shown mixed results. The objective of this study was to determine if differences in the progression of knee OA in middle- to older-aged runners exist when compared with healthy nonrunners over nearly 2 decades of serial radiographic observation.

    METHODS: Forty-five long-distance runners and 53 controls with a mean age of 58 (range 50-72) years in 1984 were studied through 2002 with serial knee radiographs. Radiographic scores were two-reader averages for Total Knee Score (TKS) by modified Kellgren & Lawrence methods. TKS progression and the number of knees with severe OA were compared between runners and controls. Multivariate regression analyses were performed to assess the relationship between runner versus control status and radiographic outcomes using age, gender, BMI, education, and initial radiographic and disability scores among covariates.

    RESULTS: Most subjects showed little initial radiographic OA (6.7% of runners and 0 controls); however, by the end of the study runners did not have more prevalent OA (20 vs 32%, p =0.25) nor more cases of severe OA (2.2% vs 9.4%, p=0.21) than did controls. Regression models found higher initial BMI, initial radiographic damage, and greater time from initial radiograph to be associated with worse radiographic OA at the final assessment; no significant associations were seen with gender, education, previous knee injury, or mean exercise time.

    CONCLUSIONS: Long-distance running among healthy older individuals was not associated with accelerated radiographic OA. These data raise the possibility that severe OA may not be more common among runners.

    February 20, 2011 at 22:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • John W.

      Though I agree that running isn't damaging to the joints, the study you posted has awful p values and cannot be used to prove the point.

      February 21, 2011 at 05:44 | Report abuse |
  40. Sugarland

    The best way to deal with calories is don't put them in your face to begin with.

    February 21, 2011 at 02:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Paul

    Biking or Running doesn't matter, unless you do it in San Antonio TX. The people there will just run you over, or kill you, and they won't even get a ticket for it. Worst city in texas for trying to go out and exercise.

    February 22, 2011 at 11:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. A

    I love how everybody's an expert. The question posed was a good question. The answer was well informed without being too technical. Lighten up folks.

    March 2, 2011 at 19:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. biking to lose weight

    If you're into any kind of cycling whether it's on road or off-road, motorized or not here is the site for your needs. You'll find reviews and direct links for the best prices online for parts in order to complete bikes and motorcycles. You simply won't find addiitional information along with the best prices elsewhere so dig in to get yourself that perfect cycle you are looking for or part for making your work happening a fact. Happy Cycling!!!

    April 2, 2012 at 18:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Air Jordan 2 (II) Retro-Countdown Package 2

    It looks like we have to wait for a while I guess. Hope it won't be more than a few days though.Air Jordan 2 (II) Retro-Countdown Package 2

    June 5, 2012 at 17:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Carlos Solorzano

    I'm 6ft and 305 lbs I run 5k in 45 min cycle 5k in 20 min power training and core training and swim 3k in an hour in the same training session 5 times a week 3hours a session aprox .no big deal really big guy i am 47 years old

    June 26, 2012 at 20:16 | Report abuse | Reply
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  49. Brandon Parilla

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