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

A workout for your brain

Some hospitals, research centers, and private practices offer brain fitness programs. They typically include a combination of physical exercise, cognitive training, good nutrition, better sleep, and meditation. Look for programs that offer a multidisciplinary approach with a neurologist, psychologist, social worker, physical therapist, and dietitian. Beware of promises of cures, and don’t assume that doing well on a computer game means there is improvement in cognition. Look for programs that measure the biological effect of the training and experts who can explain the results and how they plan to use that information. More »

The perks of group fitness classes

Group exercise classes may offer certain benefits—such as motivation from fellow participants and trained instructors—that can help improve fitness. Classes that emphasize aerobic exercise, which boosts a person’s heart and breathing rate, include dancing, water aerobics, spinning, and kickboxing. Greater cardiorespiratory fitness lowers the risk of heart disease and may prolong life. Classes such as yoga and tai chi, which incorporate movement, breathing, and meditation, may also improve risk factors for heart disease, such as high blood pressure. (Locked) More »

The top 5 benefits of cycling

Bike riding has many health benefits. It’s easy on the joints, it’s an aerobic workout, it builds muscle and bone, and it helps with everyday activities, such as walking and stair climbing. People who have heart disease, arthritis, or thinning bones should be cleared for bike riding by their doctors. People with osteoporosis may consider riding a tricycle, which is more stable than a two-wheeler, posing less of a fall risk. The seat height should allow a slight bend at the knee at the pedal’s lowest point.  (Locked) More »

3 trends worth tapping into

There is increasing evidence that three trends—wearing an activity tracker, shopping at farmers’ markets, and practicing mindfulness—can have long-lasting health benefits. More »

Dance your way to better heart health?

Regular, moderate-intensity dancing may lower the risk of dying of cardiovascular disease. Aside from the exercise benefits, dancing is often a lifelong habit and provides stress-lowering social connections.  More »

Does regular exercise reduce cancer risk?

It appears people with the highest levels of physical activity have lower rates of cancer of the esophagus, lung, kidney, colon, head and neck, rectum, bladder and breast, compared with people with the lowest levels of physical activity. (Locked) More »

Need a quick brain boost? Take a walk

A 20-to-30-minute bout of moderate exercise before performing mental tasks may quicken reaction speed and sharpen decision making in people of all ages. A dose of caffeine may have similar effects. (Locked) More »