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

Fitness trackers: A path to a healthier heart?

New, scientifically validated digital fitness trackers may help people know if they’re exercising enough to lower their risk of heart disease. They rely on an algorithm known as Personalized Activity Intelligence that converts a person’s heart rate to a number of points, based on age, gender, and resting and maximum heart rate. For people who are sedentary or have chronic health conditions, the free iPrescribe Exercise app offers evidence-based advice that can help them exercise safely.  (Locked) More »

Indoor cycling for older adults

Indoor cycling is a low-impact exercise that’s easy on the joints, and popular among older adults. It involves sitting on a high-tech stationery bicycle, in a group setting, with an instructor calling out instructions to simulate a real bicycle ride. Many classes are specifically for seniors, with instructors who are familiar with modifications for that age group. Indoor cycling has many health benefits, such as improving endurance and heart health, lowering blood pressure and stress levels, and strengthening hip and leg muscles.  (Locked) More »

Working out while angry? Just don’t do it

Anger or emotional upset may double the risk of having a heart attack. Heavy physical exertion appears to have the same effect. And people who do intense exercise while they’re upset or mad may face three times the risk of heart attack.  More »

Yes, you can stick to an exercise regimen!

Staying on an exercise regimen can be challenging, but some strategies may help people to stick to the program. Strategies include doing an enjoyable activity, setting goals and rewards, scheduling exercise in a written plan, gradually increasing intensity, exercising with a buddy, charting progress in a journal or with an activity tracker, making exercise more challenging by changing the frequency or duration, and getting back to a normal exercise routine if it falls by the wayside. (Locked) More »

Your New Year’s resolution: A gym membership?

One advantage to joining a gym or health club is access to a wide variety of fitness equipment, which may help prevent boredom and make it easier to get a varied yet balanced workout. Many gyms have personal trainers who can design appropriate, safe exercise programs that teach good form and provide motivation.  (Locked) More »

Stretching: The new mobility protection

Stretching keeps muscles long and flexible. That increases range of motion, reduces the risk for muscle and joint injury, reduces joint and back pain, improves balance, reduces the risk of falling, and improves posture. An overall stretching program will focus on the calves, the hamstrings, the hip flexors in the pelvis, quadriceps in the front of the thigh, and the muscles of the shoulders, neck, and lower back. It’s best to stretch every day or at least three or four times per week. More »