Have you tried something lower impact like swimming? Many of my patients with arthritis have found that water aerobics and swimming are a great way to stay active.
I marked your comment as helpful, Dr. Beckerman. You see, when I was a kid, and even up until I had my 4th child, I could swim underwater for great distances, do contortions, backflips, lift as much weight as most men, (my husband's Lincoln welder was small business for me to lift), and I always walked long distances every day.
Scoliosis and osteoarthritis have gotten the better of me, I'm afraid, and when I quit smoking twice, I gained over 60 unhealthy pounds.
Today marks the day that I have lost 50 of those pounds, but I smoke. The last time I tried to swim, I almost drowned and the water was only up to my neck. I was too fat. I guess I could try swimming again. At least I'm not so fat. Thanks!
Congratulations on the weight loss. I think that swimming is an excellent idea, especially as it is something that you have done and excelled in and enjoyed in the past.
I think that nearly drowning can give you a greater appreciation for the water. (I nearly drowned when I got sucked under an 8 m waterfall while white water rafting.)
I think that starting back off in a shallowish pool, with lifeguards partolling, can be very reassuring. If you need too you could even consider swim lessons to help rebuild your confidence.
You have lost weight and are also better able to help yourself. You have skills and are not as helpless as you felt back then.
I would encourage you to give swimming another go. I went for a swim today and enjoyed it a lot.
Good luck and take care.