Exercise & Fitness

Exercising regularly, every day if possible, is the single most important thing you can do for your health. In the short term, exercise helps to control appetite, boost mood, and improve sleep. In the long term, it reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, dementia, depression, and many cancers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend the following:

For adults of all ages

  • At least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise like brisk walking or 75 minutes of rigorous exercise like running (or an equivalent mix of both) every week.  It’s fine to break up exercise into smaller sessions as long as each one lasts at least 10 minutes.
  • Strength-training that works all major muscle groups—legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms—at least two days a week.  Strength training may involve lifting weights, using resistance bands, or exercises like push-ups and sit-ups, in which your body weight furnishes the resistance.

For pregnant women

The guidelines for aerobic exercise are considered safe for most pregnant women. The CDC makes no recommendation for strength training. It’s a good idea to review your exercise plan with your doctor.

For children

At least 60 minutes of physical activity a day, most of which should be devoted to aerobic exercise. Children should do vigorous exercise and strength training, such as push-ups or gymnastics, on at least three days every week.

Exercise & Fitness Articles

How stress affects seniors, and how to manage it

Coping with stress becomes more difficult in older age. This is because the body isn’t able to accommodate the physiological response to stress as well as it once did. Ways to cope with stress include addressing an underlying condition, eating a healthy diet, getting plenty of exercise, socializing, doing breathing exercises, meditating, and undergoing cognitive behavioral therapy. But stress management techniques take practice, and one may need medications to relieve stress over the short term. (Locked) More »

Moderate and intense exercise may slow brain aging by 10 years

 Image: iStock Another reason to turn up the exercise intensity: It may keep your brain young. An observational study published online March 23, 2016 in Neurology examined 876 people, average age 71, who were enrolled in the Northern Manhattan Study. The participants were asked how long and often they exercised prior to the study. Approximately 90% reported either no exercise or light exercise, such as walking and yoga; 10% did higher intensity activities like running and aerobics. An average of seven years later, each person was given a brain MRI and tests on memory and thinking skills. The tests were repeated five years after that. (Locked) More »

Exercise by the numbers

The standard guideline for fitness is 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week. There are many ways to reach those 150 weekly minutes, but focusing on this duration and intensity can enable people to gain optimal benefits from exercise.  (Locked) More »

Yoga: Another way to prevent osteoporosis?

A 12-minute routine, involving holding each of 12 yoga poses for 30 seconds, done at least three times a week for two years, increased bone density in a small study of postmenopausal women with low bone density. (Locked) More »