People in mid-life tend to gravitate toward endurance sports like running or cycling because the body can better perform these activities due to greater “slow twitch” muscle fibers, explains Dr. Matthew T. DesJardins. “We can’t do the fast-twitch stuff (basketball, tennis, etc.) as well.” Even those who decide to become fit in later years can still get into terrific shape, Dr. DesJardins says. “It’s really never too late.”
If arthritic changes to joints cause pain, many people stop exercising. In many cases, this is unnecessary, says Dr. DesJardins. Most studies show “no cause and effect between running and arthritis of the hip or knee,” he adds. Evidence exists that moderate-level training is actually joint protective, good for weight control and overall health.