Ageing with impact

We often hear people telling us that they are too old to run or play tennis. They may have had imaging results that indicate arthritis or osteoarthritis (OA) in one or more joints.

Popular belief suggests that physical activity with weight baring (or impacts) should be avoided, assuming that these impacts wear out even more our “old” knees. Well NO, physical activity with impact does not have a maximum age! Physical activity with impact can even contribute to good joint management.

There is no age at which we cannot keep moving, even for activities that involve the impact. It remains true that as you age, the speed at which the body adapts to impacts is less pronounced. It is important to note that the body still has the potential to adapt! This is why gradual progression is even more important with age.

To allow the joints to adapt, it is necessary to impose a certain minimal amount of mechanical stress (impact). Contrary to what we have long thought, mechanical impacts help make your bones and joints stronger. This reality applies to both women and men and applies throughout at all ages.


For those who want to start today, here are some ideas :

  • Walking (with or without weight in the hands)
  • Running
  • Jumping rope
  • Tennis
  • Volleyball

It is important to remember the importance of maintaining a steady level of physical activity over time or to progress your activity gradually within your limits.


Here are some easy rules to follow:

  • Choose an activity that will make you happy! ?
  • Start with a duration of activity that seems too easy.
  • Keep this activity without increasing the duration or intensity for a minimum of 3 sessions before increasing the volume.
  • Listen to your body to find out if you have discovered your limit (fatigue or pain before, during or after the activity).
  • Then, hopefully, add a minute or two to your activity in subsequent sessions.
  • Do not forget to keep up the fun during your activity!

If you have any questions, consult one of our physiotherapists. He will be able to guide you through your progression of activities with impact.

Looking forward to seeing you active!