Physical Activity

Physical Activity Articles

Put some pep in your step!

Interval walking is a form of interval training, which describes any form of exercise in which a person purposely speeds up and slows down at regular intervals throughout the session. Interval walking may improve endurance, reduce blood pressure, and help with weight loss. To introduce intervals into a well-established routine, include one or two segments of fast-paced walking in a 30-minute walk. Gradually add more intervals into the routine, with an ultimate goal of walking 50% of the time at the higher intensity. There’s flexibility in how that can be done—one minute on, one minute off, or two minutes on, two minutes off. More »

Take a swing at racket sports

Racket sports like tennis, squash, badminton, racquetball, Ping-Pong, and other variations are the ideal exercise for many older men. Besides offering a good cardiovascular workout, they can help with both upper- and lower-body strength at once, can be modified to fit any age or fitness level, and do not involve a lot of equipment. (Locked) More »

Get smart about treadmills

Treadmills can target key muscle groups that older adults need to strengthen in order to improve balance and endurance, such as quadriceps, calves, glutes, and hamstrings. The machines also can be helpful for people recovering from an injury or surgery since they can control the speed and intensity. Treadmills also offer a safe environment free of unpredictable footing and adverse weather conditions. More »

The value of prevention

People who exercise, eat right, and follow other heart-healthy habits have much lower medical costs than people who don’t adhere to key heart disease prevention strategies, known as Life’s Simple 7. Created by the American Heart Association, the list also includes stopping smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, and controlling blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels. The savings arise mainly from avoiding hospital charges for heart surgeries and other procedures. More »

5 tools to maintain your mobility

Walking poles, walking sticks, canes, crutches, and walkers can aid balance and mobility. Choosing the right device, having it properly fitted, and learning how to walk with it are keys to using mobility aids successfully. More »

Find your exercise fit!

Four basic choices for activity are exercise classes, gym workouts, home workouts, and vigorous work or recreational activity. Understanding the pros and cons of each can help a person select the regimen that will best fit his or her style. For example, going to an exercise class works well for people who like getting out of the house, need instruction, and are comfortable in a group. However, a class may be expensive, or it may not be right for people who feel shy or for people with transportation or scheduling challenges. (Locked) More »

Is a new tool for fitness research already in your own pocket?

Real-word tracking of activity levels using a smartphone app may one day help guide people to patterns of activity that provide the most cardiovascular benefit. Challenges to this type of research include engaging a diverse range of participants and motivating them to keep using the app. Possible solutions include using a wristband fitness tracker or smartwatch in addition to a smartphone, and adding “gamification” features to the app that give feedback and rewards for greater activity and participation. (Locked) More »