knee pain when hiking

Making Up for Past Health Mistakes

I saw this article from Dr. Oz about “3 Ways to Make Up for Your Past Health Mistakes” and it reminded me of a topic I wanted to bring up. The post covers smoking, yo-yo dieting and sunbathing, so not exactly what I want to talk about. Usually when I bring up topics I have a story of my own experience to share and tips that worked for me. This time, I don’t have any suggestions. Maybe you guys do.

What I’m wondering is, how much damage did I do to my body weighing 250 pounds and has my body recovered from it? Is there lasting damage I may not see or feel?

When I lost my weight and kept it off, I didn’t give health concerns much thought. Losing the weight had cleared up all of my problems: body aches, pre-diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc. I felt better, I felt healthier and I enjoyed doing a lot of physical activities.

What made me think about what kind of lasting damage was done to my body was a hike on the 4th of July. It was a strenuous uphill climb that challenged my fitness level and made me wonder about my knees specifically. Michael and I were hiking back down the mountain from Devil’s Rest and my knees ached a little bit. It wasn’t too bad but it reminded me of a very awful hiking trip that REALLY hurt my knees. That previous hike had my knees feeling like bone-on-bone grinding. It was absolutely awful.

This time, I took it easy as we descended and made sure I was stepping properly and not doing anything weird that could aggravate the knees. It made my heart sink a little bit. I’m 32 years old, far too young to be worried about creaking knees! Michael suggested I get an MRI to see if everything is still where it should be. I’ve yet to bring that up with my doctor and honestly don’t really want to (avoiding bad news makes it go away, right?).

The good news is that I’m not seeing my regular activities suffer from any knee discomfort. I think part of the reason I haven’t had the overuse issues that can cause knees to flair up is that I vary my workouts so much. I run, I swim, I bike, I lift weights, I use the elliptical, I do body weight exercises, I hike, etc. Having that variations gives my body a chance to rest certain muscles (thankfully). Of course that changes when it’s “training season”! But I do not have any pain in my day-to-day life, just walking around, and that’s great news.

So did weighing 250 pounds totally wreck my knees? Did losing the weight fix that? Can the body heal and repair itself from something like that?  I just don’t know. Do you wonder about your own body in this way?

What are your thoughts on the topic of recovering from past mistakes?