Q: I’ve started running, but my knees are killing me. I used to run for miles, but now I can’t. Any advice?
A: It’s great to strengthen your heart, but why derail nature’s transportation system in the process? With each step, you pound your joints with about four times your weight. Ease into it: Start by walking 30 minutes a day and doing strength training a few days a week. Build up the muscles around your knees with exercises such as lunges or squats. Plus, weight training can help you lose weight, so you put less strain on your knees. After a month, try running again, but don’t increase your mileage by more than 25% a week. Crucial: Go to a specialty sneaker store to have your gait analyzed so you can find shoes with proper support. Add calcium, magnesium and vitamins C and D to your diet to help prevent osteoarthritis. And keep in mind that running on a treadmill or track can be easier on aching knees.