Sunday, November 22, 2015

Hey Look! We’re No. 1! :(

I could almost present this image below without comment. It was tweeted by Conrad Hackett of the Pew Research Center.

So who leads the world in knee replacement surgeries?

In the U.S., 226 people out of 100,000 had knee replacement surgery in 2013 (at least, that’s how I read that statistic). That’s more than one out of five hundred people.

Now, the good part of that statistic: To some degree, it undoubtedly reflects the advanced state of medical care in the U.S. Where patients in other countries have to suffer with terrible knee pain, in America they can get a brand-new pair of joints.

But it also undoubtedly reflects the fact that the U.S. is full of a lot of overweight, even obese, people who are not moving enough and who are wearing out their knees prematurely.

The good news is, if you’re reading this right now, you’re probably part of the percentage of the population that’s working really hard not to wind up on the operating table.

So keep moving. And I know I’ve said it here and here and here and here and here, but:

Lose some weight.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

How to Run With Ridiculously Little Impact

Here’s something cool, though I just discovered it’s been around for more than six years! It’s called a “gravity-reducing” treadmill. A company called AlterG (Alter Gravity -- get it?) makes the machines.

Here’s an image I lifted from AlterG’s website (I doubt they’ll mind, as I’m basically doing free publicity by writing about their space-age treadmill). Cool but a bit weird-looking, eh?

So, you may be thinking, what’s going on in that strange-looking closed compartment below the runner’s waist?

Well, after the user is zipped into place, the air pressure is increased in that chamber, to simulate the effects of low gravity. A control panel allows a user’s body weight to be decreased in 1 percent increments, up to 80 percent.

Imagine that. A two-hundred-lb. man running on a treadmill as if he weighed no more than a five-year-old!

If this approach to exercise sounds kind of familiar, it should. I’ve mentioned plenty of times the idea of “unloading your joints.” Doug Kelsey is a huge proponent of this approach to make exercise pain free.

So naturally, I’m delighted to see anti-gravity treadmills. It’s a perfect machine for a knee pain sufferer looking for a way to get active again.

Well, almost perfect. Forget about buying one of these little workout gems. A recent Businessweek article priced them at $36,900 to $80,000. Ouch. But it sounds like they’re popping up in physical therapy clinics and tony gyms, so sniff around and you might find one near you.

If I have a chance to try out the treadmill -- you know, semi-popular bloggers sometimes get the chance to sample merchandise for a review ;), I’ll let you know. Or, if by chance any of you out there has used this anti-gravity device, let us know below what it was like.