Exercise and Fitness

5 habits for moms that help prevent childhood obesity

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

It might be surprising to learn that parents can help fight childhood obesity by taking good care of themselves. A new study found that when mothers follow five healthy lifestyle habits, their kids are much less likely to become obese.

Multigenerational fitness parks

That playground you like to visit with your kids or grandkids may be morphing into a space that is “fun for the whole family” — fitness parks with exercise equipment suitable for people of all ages alongside the more typical child-focused play structures.

Exercise as part of cancer treatment

Monique Tello, MD, MPH

Contributing Editor

Based on analyses of multiple studies showing benefits of exercise, Australia’s national cancer organization has issued formal guidelines recommending exercise as part of cancer treatment for all cancer patients. The guidelines emphasize that exercise recommendations be tailored to each patient.

Obesity is complicated — and so is treating it

Monique Tello, MD, MPH

Contributing Editor

Along with the growing realization that obesity is a complex disease comes greater understanding that treatments need to be highly individualized and address the physical and emotional factors that contribute to it.

What kinds of exercise are good for brain health?

While the physical benefits of exercise have long been understood, exactly which exercises boost brain health is less clear, but the more diverse your exercise routine, the more likely your brain and cognitive health will benefit along with your body.

Aerobic exercise or tai chi for fibromyalgia — which is better?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Physical activity is beneficial for people with fibromyalgia, but the pain caused by the condition makes exercise difficult for many. A new study compares the benefits of aerobic exercise and tai chi as treatments for fibromyalgia.

Overcome exercise excuses

Only slightly more than half of adults are getting the recommended amount of exercise. While some have pain or a chronic health condition, and others are just busy, it’s not difficult to add regular activity to your daily routine.

Interval training: More workout in less time (and you can do it)

Incorporating higher-intensity bursts into your regular workout routine can boost your overall fitness in the same amount of time, and can also help with blood pressure and other factors.

Active mind/body, healthy mind/body

Getting regular exercise is one of the best actions you can take to improve or maintain your overall health. Fitting exercise into your life is not as difficult as it might seem, but it does require some planning.

Spinning: Good for the heart and muscles, gentle on joints

Matthew Solan

Executive Editor, Harvard Men's Health Watch

Spinning is a great aerobic exercise that is good for the heart and builds leg muscle while offering a low-impact workout that is easy on the joints, so it can be done by people of all ages.