#256 does exercise contribute to arthritis?

Personally exercise is important to me. It’s never crossed my mind  that exercise can have adverse effect on the body. I am glad that HealthBeat of the Harvard Medical School shared this interesting article supported with findings over a period of time.

Does exercise contribute to arthritis? Research says no

If you’re putting off getting into a regular exercise routine because you’re worried that exercise contributes to arthritis, think again. Studies show that exercise can be safe for joints, both in older, overweight folks and in athletes.

The knees of Framingham

In 1948, more than 5,200 residents of Framingham, Mass., volunteered for the Framingham Heart Study, which has produced major insights into the causes of heart attack and stroke. In 1971, scientists began a new study of the children of the original volunteers and the spouses of those children. Between 1993 and 1994, 1,279 members of the Framingham Offspring Cohort enrolled in a study of exercise and arthritis. Their average age was 53.

All the volunteers were free of arthritis when the study began. Each answered detailed questions about their patterns of exercise, including walking, jogging, being active enough to work up a sweat, and their overall exercise level. All the people provided information about knee injuries and symptoms of knee pain and stiffness. In addition, all the volunteers were weighed and measured, and they each had a full series of knee x-rays.

Between 2002 and 2005, the subjects answered the same questions about knee pain and injury, and the x-rays were repeated. All the x-rays were independently evaluated by two experts who had no knowledge of the subjects’ exercise histories.

When the results were tallied, the researchers found no link between exercise and arthritis of the knee. The most active people had the same risk of arthritis as the least active, in terms of both symptoms and x-ray abnormalities.

Exercise was as friendly to the knees of joggers as walkers, even though jogging subjects the lower body to much higher impact and stress than walking. And even though obesity is an independent risk factor for arthritis, physically active overweight members of the study group fared just as well as their slim peers.

Australian knees

Although the Framingham study goes a long way toward dispelling the idea that exercise causes arthritis, it did not confirm a fond hope of exercise enthusiasts: that repetitive exercise could be good for joints.

However, a high-tech Australian investigation of 297 men and woman without knee injuries or disease showed that people who performed the most vigorous weight-bearing exercise had the thickest, healthiest knee cartilage.

Runners’ knees

A 2008 study that compared 284 dedicated runners with 156 nonrunners also found little evidence that exercise causes arthritis. After a remarkably long 21-year follow-up period, the runners experienced significantly less musculoskeletal disability than did their less active peers — and the runners also enjoyed a 39% lower mortality rate.

The research is impressive, and it confirms earlier studies. Former varsity runners, for example, are no more likely to develop arthritis in their legs than former college swimmers, and champion runners are no more likely to end up with arthritic hips than nonathletes.

Exercise as therapy?

Exercise is often prescribed for patients with arthritis. Exercise may be safe for healthy joints — but is it also safe for arthritic joints?

In 2005, British researchers found that both walking and muscle-strengthening were safe and effective, reducing pain and disability in people with arthritis. And in 2006 and 2007, scientists in the Netherlands and the U.K. reported that graded exercise programs are safe and effective for patients with arthritis of the hip or knee.

Healthy body, healthy joints

To prevent problems caused by exercise, be sure your general health is good; older people and patients with heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, or other significant problems should get medical clearance. And all of us should get in shape gradually. Listen to your body as you exercise and report any problems to your doctor.

Warming up and cooling down will help protect your heart and your joints. Stretching exercises, good shoes, and good technique will also reduce your risk of musculoskeletal injuries. With these simple precautions and a dose of common sense, exercise will be safe for your joints.

Next excuse?

I’d wanted to link this page but… For more interesting articles, please go to: www.health.harvard.edu.

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#252 exercise, exercise, exercise

I discover whatever regular regime of exercises (jogging, walking, swimming…) helps:

  1. increase my heart rate to maintaining a strong and healthy heart
  2. strengthen my body muscles, preventing aches and pains; over-exercising hurt though
  3. loosen bowels — less constipation
  4. make me breathe deeply to strengthen my lungs; I find I breathe in shallow manner as I grow older, sometimes causing poor sleep at night
  5. clear my mind as deep breathing carries oxygen in blood into the brain
  6. release toxic energies in body as toxic energies in body can cause depression or emotional problems or pathological illnesses or …
  7. by making me drink more water to replace that lost as the body is made up of 75% water and to flush out toxins in body, prevent constipation and cut down bad cholestrol (?)
  8. increase my appetite when I feel good and healthy

#242 swine flu

Ouch! Swine flu (H1N1 influenza A) floating in air.

The first case of humans transmitting viruses to pigs?

Will there be a slaughter of pigs around the world?

Travellers returning from Mexico are quarantined in different countries as prevention and precaution measures. I’m reminded of the SARS that happened in 2003, almost around the same time.

This time around, it began on the other side of the globe, Mexico — 22 fatals and 568 infected to date. Hopefully there will be no pandemic. I believe, many Asian countries will take draconian approach to this. So what is the hallebaloo between Mexico and China or any Asian countries?!

Ironically New Zealand, a country where she has kept herself well contained, could be the country where her nationals were infected as result of a group of students visiting there. Hopefully there will not be fatalities or further spread!

Prevention is better than cure…rather — It’s better safe than sorry!

Update 6 May 2009: This website gives a comprehensive understanding http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/swine-flu/MY00675

UPDATE 27 May 2009: Singapore confirms her first case — a 22-year-old SMU girl-student who went to NY from May 14-24 (on holiday? purpose?). Unfortunately she passed through the thermal scanner at the airport eventhough she had developed coughing on-board but sought medical help late morning…

UPDATE: WHO declared swine flu a pandemic (June 13?).

UPDATE 25 June 2009: To date, Singapore has increased to 220 cases of swine flu — are these imported from the school holidays travels?

              By comparison, considering the small size of population, 220 cases is relatively high– less than a month when first confirmed!

#232

This global economic and financial crises foil those who want to retire.

Perhaps the recession is positive phenomenon though harsh and tough this might be.

There was the anxiety that there might not be enough hands to feed the mouths of the elderly baby boomers should this generation retire from the workforce.

Idling with nothing to do makes a person dull…activities enhance the vitality and well-being of a person.

So will the baby boomers come up with innovative ways to keep oneself useful and hopefully to bring in an income yet helping the flailing economy back to its feet?!

#197 amazing children saved mothers’ lives

Amazing what a child understands and does in times of emergency!

In England, James Cooke reports

A three-year-old boy came to his mother’s rescue by dialling 999 after she had an epileptic fit.

Jack Thomson called the emergency services from his mum’s mobile phone. When the line went dead he found another phone and dialled again.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7627938.stm.

Another,

Jakob Seviour saved his mother’s life by calling 999 when she had a fit and now he is being put forward for a national award.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/7568697.stm.

#195 dream fulfilled @ 16

Yip Pin Xiu, swimmer

Congratulations to Singapore’s first gold medalist swimmer, Yip Pin Xiu, 16 years old suffering muscular dystrophy and is a student at the Bendemeer Secondary School [unfortunately I couldn’t find the newsbit I read yesterday to verify some information at the time of writing] at Beijing Paralympic 2008.

Muscular dystrophy is a rare inherited muscle disease where muscle fibres are unusually susceptible to damage. One suffering this is apparent lack of coordinations resulting from muscle weakness and there will be progressive crippling, resulting in contractual of the muscles around joints and loss of mobility.

Considering the signs and symptoms of muscular dystrophy Yip Pin Xiu is remarkable to win this accolade for our nation.

Her parents sacrificially and bravely cope with this illness of hers as this requires great commitment of physical, emotional and financial effort. This disease also poses challenges in the classroom, in the home and in all aspects of life.

Her win is her determination to hard work through dedication and is also the result of team work: under patient and able trainer in former medalist swimmer, Ang Peng Siong and her parents who did not pressure her to win, friends, school and Sports Council.

Trainer Ang Peng Siong was able to understand and encourage her by spending a day of relaxation like shopping rather than spending the time in the water!

Indeed this is celebration for her parents and trainer, Ang Peng Siong.

Pin Xiu has made everyone glad and rejoicing!

#194 clutter

  • Can you consistently find what you need within a few seconds?
  • If you work with others, can they quickly find what they need when you’re not around the office or workplace?
  • Is your ‘in’ box constantly overflowing?

What is clutter?

  1. compulsive hoarding
  2. disorganized heaps of photographs or recipes; old magazines; outdated articles
  3. things or spaces that are untidy and disorganized
  4. too many things in a small space
  5. anything unfinished
  6. anything you do not use or love
  7. clothes that no longer fit or out of fashion
  8. inherit items that don’t fit with your décor
  9. gifts that are kept out of obligation or guilt
  10. items that are broken or missing parts

Clutter comes in other personal form:

·         too-full schedule;

·         out-of-date goals and commitments;

·         draining relationships;

·         debt;

·         excess weight;

·         and limiting beliefs

 

Some effects of clutter psychologically:

·         drains your energy and distracts you

·         undermines your self-esteem –- loss of confidence and out of control

·         difficult to relax at home or workspace

·         keeps you stuck to the past

·         is expensive: buying things not needing, compulsive purchases