Healthy joints highlighted during Walk with a Doc

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NEW GLASGOW — Health benefits of exercise were extolled at the recent Walk with a Doc.

Dr. Tim El-Tahan, orthopedic surgeon/sports medicine, spoke to nearly 50 participants — including five medical students and seven supporting physicians — at the Scott Weeks Field, Parkdale on Saturday to discuss how exercise affects the joints and to encourage a ‘Walk with a Doc’ thereafter.

El-Tahan began by explaining the importance of having healthy joints throughout our lives and as we age. “You want to stimulate your joints more with exercise. Exercise helps you lose weight; less weight on your joints takes a lot of stress off them,” he noted.

“For example, your hips take on three times your body weight when you are doing vigorous exercise, and your knees take on five times your body weight. If you were to start running, your body would take on about 10 times your body weight through your joints. The thing to keep in mind is if you have an extra 10 or 15 pounds of excess weight and you try running, you’re actually putting an extra hundred pounds through your joints. So, even a little bit of weight loss can make a huge difference in terms of how your knees respond.”

El-Tahan recommended biking and swimming for those who have issues with their joints because it does not put as much force on the joints, but you are still making your joints move.

He also highly encouraged a warm up and stretch before exercise. These movements will help lubricate the joints and cartilage and can help you move easier throughout your exercise program with less injury or stress on your body’s joints.