Exercise and Fitness

Returning to an old exercise routine? Here’s what you need to know

If you are interested in returning to a workout routine after being away from it for an extended period of time, it’s very easy to injure yourself. In order to avoid this, get your doctor’s approval and gear your activity to your current level of fitness.

Answer these 5 questions to help make your New Year’s resolutions stick

If you want to keep your New Year’s resolutions, you need to approach them as a process of behavior change, make your goals realistic, and have a specific plan for how you will reach them.

Heart rate variability: A new way to track well-being

Measuring heart rate variability provides a way to see the impact of stress, which can be a motivator to make healthier lifestyle choices that can help counteract it.

Fitting in fitness for busy people

Monique Tello, MD, MPH

Contributing Editor

Thinking about exercise differently, realizing that you don’t have to dedicate large blocks of time to workouts and classes, and that any activity is beneficial, makes it easier to find ways to incorporate physical activity into your day.

Activity trackers: Can they really help you get fit?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Using an activity tracker to monitor the amount and intensity of a person’s daily movements may provide motivation for some people to make greater effort to improve their health. Further research may find that using these devices in innovative ways and with creative incentives could make them even more helpful.

Exercise: Can a few minutes a day keep a hip fracture away?

Nandini Mani, MD

Contributing Editor

As we age we lose bone strength, and the risk of a fracture becomes a serious concern. A study found that exercising for just a few minutes a day brought a reduction In risk for brittle bones.

Diabetes: Adding lifestyle changes to medication can deliver a knockout punch

Monique Tello, MD, MPH

Contributing Editor

Plenty of research supports the common-sense notion that a healthy lifestyle can prevent or treat many diseases. A diet high in fruits, veggies, whole grains, and plant protein and low in processed carbs, added sugars, saturated fats; regular physical activity; and emotional well-being are the potent treatments that can prevent the need for or even […]

Yoga could complement traditional treatment for depression

Marlynn Wei, MD, JD

Contributing Editor

New research suggests that yoga may help with depression when used alongside traditional treatment. Evidence does not recommend any specific styles of yoga, so you can see which style fits best with you and your preferences. Yoga has also been shown to help those with mild depression, but more research is needed to be certain.

For people with MS, can exercise change the brain?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Researchers are investigating the possibility that exercise can benefit people with multiple sclerosis. MRI tests on study participants show brain changes that suggest exercise may slow the progression of the disease.

Intensive lifestyle change: It works, and it’s more than diet and exercise

Monique Tello, MD, MPH

Contributing Editor

It’s not easy to make significant lifestyle changes, but it can be done, and research shows that it works. It’s an intensive commitment with a psychological component as important as the diet and fitness components.