Running May Be Good for Your Knees After All

Concerns about knee damage caused by running or jogging may be unfounded, according to a small study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology. Running appears to decrease inflammation in the knees—perhaps even protecting the joints from degenerative diseases like osteoarthritis down the road.

For the study, researchers analyzed synovial fluid samples from the knees of healthy men and women between the ages of 18 and 35—before and after a 30-minute run. They measured two protein levels in joint fluid—proteins that indicate inflammation—and found lower levels of both after the study participants' runs.

Results of the study now must be confirmed in larger test groups and with longer run times. However, it seems a sensible exercise program—including running and other weight-bearing exercises, as well as strength training—may be beneficial for long-term joint health.

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