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Local News

Q&A with K & A

Fun and Fit: I’m Low Without My Runner’s High

Where there's a Will, there's a way to get that youthful feeling with minimal joint pain

Dear Fun and Fit Godesses: I am a 52-year-old man (emphasis on the old), and I want to feel young again without causing any wear and tear on the old joints. I used to run often and play basketball, but a knee injury derailed me. I enjoyed the “runner’s high” and can’t seem to find that feeling from nonimpact activities. How do you propose I get back to running, or do I just accept my fate?

Fun and Fit:Q and A with K and A, aka Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA, and Alexandra Williams, MA
Fun and Fit: Q and A with K and A, aka Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA, and Alexandra Williams, MA

— Will I. Jaugernaut

Kymberly: Where there’s a Will, there’s a way. First, we see you’re into accurate names and fun names. Accurate = “Goddesses”; Fun = “Will I. Jaugernaut.” Second, in our world, 52 is not old, but sprightly, especially if you’re active.

So let’s focus on the “I want to feel young again and get high” part of the question. We assume you want to reach that goal without going back to the 1970s and relying on other, nonrecommended methods. You know what “they” say about the ‘70s: “If you remember them, you weren’t there.” That leaves us with the critical point that you have only two knees for the rest of your life. (Acquiring someone else’s knee parts through surgery does not count.) So the priority is to hang onto those precious knees and get lifelong use of them.

As Will Shakespeare (two Wills in one post!) never said: Get thee to a non-runnery. How about heading to an elliptical machine, stationary bike or row machine? If being outdoors is what brings you that youthful feeling, hop onto a bicycle and enjoy the scenery. All the listed options minimize joint impact while allowing you to create as much or little intensity as you want.

Alexandra: One thing is to check your footwear. Lately, there’s a lot of research indicating that less is more when it comes to running footwear. If you think wearing “barefoot” shoes would decrease your knee pain, consider that as an option. Or run in the pool. That is much easier on the knees and you will get that “impact” feeling.

As to accepting your fate, there is nothing we can do about the name you’ve chosen! In that respect, you are doomed!

K: But we get it that what you really want to do is keep running. It could be that you have reached your lifetime limit on that much impact. Oooorrr, there’s still hope.

If experiencing joint pain while running, one thing to check is footwear.
If experiencing joint pain while running, one thing to check is footwear.

Try integrating strengthening exercises for your hip abductors, hamstrings and quads into your workouts (courtesy of this IDEA article). Check your form (or get a friend to check it or videotape you running). Heck, send me a check for that check!

Maybe you are pronating, landing oddly, doing some kind of whacked out — yet subtle — form fault over and over, that you can fix once you know about it.

Dude, I don’t like running and here I am working it, so give this all a try. Or not. After all, those nice, reduced-impact cardio machines are waiting for you and your knees. Pant pant run run ...

Readers, runners and exercise highsters: What gives you “runner’s high” without actually running?

— Identical twins and fitness pros Kymberly Williams-Evans and Alexandra Williams have been in the fitness industry since the first aerobics studio opened on the European continent. They teach, write, edit, emcee and present their programs worldwide on land, sea and airwaves. They co-write Fun and Fit: Q and A with K and A. You can currently find them in action leading classes in Santa Barbara and Goleta. Kymberly is the former faculty minor adviser at UCSB for its fitness instruction degree offered through the Department of Exercise & Sport Studies; Alexandra serves as an instructor and master teacher for the program. Fun and Fit answers real questions from real people, so please send your comments and questions to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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