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

Can I do anything to prevent urinary incontinence?

Not all cases of urinary incontinence can be prevented, but a woman can reduce her risk by maintaining a healthy weight, quitting smoking, and exercising regularly. Kegel exercises can strengthen the muscles in the pelvis that support the bladder. (Locked) More »

Can I outwalk breast cancer?

Walking an average of an hour a day may reduce a woman’s risk of breast cancer. The American Cancer Society recommends getting at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each week. (Locked) More »

How do I measure exercise intensity?

Many experts recommend monitoring maximum heart rate to gauge exercise intensity. An easy way for people to measure their maximum heart rate is to use formulas based on their age. (Locked) More »

How to recover from post-traumatic stress disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a severe and potentially debilitating anxiety disorder that affects people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event. PTSD often develops in combat veterans, but it can also strike older adults, and especially men. Fortunately, there are many proven ways to help treat and manage PTSD. These include prolonged exposure therapy, social support, medication, exercise, and meditation. (Locked) More »

Midlife isn’t too late for stroke prevention

Strokes can be prevented through lifestyle changes, such as exercising more, quitting smoking, losing weight, or eating a healthy diet, even if changes aren’t made until midlife, according to a study by Harvard researchers. Compared with women who didn’t make beneficial lifestyle changes, women who quit smoking, lost weight, or exercised for 30 minutes or more each day had an estimated 25% reduction in stroke risk, and women who ate a healthier diet had an estimated 23% reduction in risk. (Locked) More »

Three moves for better spine health

A strong core can stabilize your spine to help keep your lower back healthy and pain-free. The muscles, ligaments, and nerves surrounding the spine can weaken with age or from an injury, which can make movements like twisting, stretching, lifting, and bending difficult. The "big three" exercises—the curl-up, the side plank, and the bird-dog—can help develop a stable spine by strengthening the entire core musculature, from the abdominals to the whole back. More »

Tips to avoid constipation

There are many ways one can try to avoid constipation. For example, lifestyle remedies may help—such as increasing dietary fiber, getting regular exercise, and drinking three to six cups of water per day. If those approaches don’t work, doctors recommend using fiber supplements, such as psyllium husk (Metamucil), methylcellulose (Citrucel), or wheat dextrin (Benefiber). Another supplement that might help is magnesium. When all strategies fail, it may be time to try over-the-counter medication. One option is an osmotic laxative such as polyethylene glycol (Miralax). (Locked) More »

Boning up on osteoporosis

About one in four men older than 50 will break a bone because of osteoporosis during their lifetime. Proper bone health not only can help protect men from osteoporosis, but can also reduce their risk of serious breaks or fractures from falls or other injuries. Adopting certain exercises and getting adequate amounts of calcium and vitamin D are the best strategies for keeping bones strong and safe. (Locked) More »

Turn your exercise into summer fun

Moving more is a worthy goal, but many people dread exercise. That’s often the case because people assume it means a trip to the gym or a stint on a treadmill. But exercise can take many forms, from gardening to dancing or an evening stroll. The key is to find enjoyable activities; people are often more likely to stick with these over time. (Locked) More »