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Does walking adversely affect the joints?

Q: I am a 61 years old man weighing 70 kg and my height is 173 cm. I walk for an hour in the morning, 30 minutes in the evening and for variable duration during the day. I walk 8 km to 12 km daily at the speed of around 6 km per hour. I have been walking regularly for the last 8 years. I feel no discomfort while race-walking or while walking for an extended period. Some people have been cautioning me that the speed and duration of my walk may have an adverse effect on my cartilage/joints. Is there any relation between the speed/duration of the walk and damage to the joints or cartilage?

A:Kudos to you for having the tenacity to continue your exercise over such a long period and be consistent about it.

I see that you seem to have had no problems in the past but I must tell you that you might be overdoing the quantity a bit. However if you haven't had any problems so far, it may be unlikely that any occur now. Some precautions to keep in mind:

  • Wear comfortable shoes that take the impact of the walk and reduce risk of injury.
  • Walk on a soft-ish surface so as to reduce the impact on the joints.
  • Maybe you could take on an alternate option once in a while like cycling, swimming or add some other form of exercise that completes the fitness triangle.

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