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

Exercising arthritis pain away

Studies indicate that physical therapy is often just as effective as surgery in reducing pain and increasing function for people with arthritis in their knees or backs. It’s wise to seek out physical therapy whenever joint pain interferes with your normal activities for more than a few days. (Locked) More »

Prescribing “the best medicine”

Only about half of American adults do enough physical activity to benefit their health. Exercise is especially vital for people at risk for heart disease or who already have it, but people don’t always know how much and how hard they should exercise. Recently, fitness trackers have made heart rate tracking popular, but people can also pay attention to their rate of perceived exertion (RPE). For moderate-intensity exercise, people should aim for exertion levels midway between sitting still and exercising as hard as possible. The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week. More »

Take a stand against sitting

More than half of the average person’s waking hours are spent sitting. All that sitting can increase risk for heart disease and early death. Yet a person can offset sitting’s health risks by doing just two minutes of light-intensity activity like walking for each hour of sitting, and at least an hour of moderate-intensity exercise after sitting for more than eight hours a day. (Locked) More »

Are there any benefits to exercising on an empty stomach?

Research has shown that aerobic exercise when fasting increases the use of a stored fat as an energy supply. Although these results sound promising, it is less certain that exercising on an empty stomach will help lose more weight. In fact, there are relatively few studies that have measured long-term weight loss or body fat composition. (Locked) More »

No place like home for knee replacement rehab

A home-based rehab program after a total knee replacement is equal to an initial inpatient rehab in terms of recovery speed, says a recent study. The researchers speculated that the home program helps because it encourages patients to be more active and independent from the get-go after surgery, which may help recovery in the long run. More »

Tennis, anyone?

People who play tennis a few times a week may lower their chances of dying of heart disease or a stroke compared with inactive people. Tennis provides an upper- and lower-body workout, as well as intermittent, high-intensity activity, both of which are thought to be good for the heart. Tennis playing also has been linked to other factors associated with heart health, including a lower body-fat percentage and more favorable cholesterol levels. Finally, the game encourages mindfulness and strengthens social ties, which may lower stress levels. (Locked) More »