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

More daily movement may lower cancer deaths

People who move more during the day may be at a much lower risk of dying from cancer compared with more sedentary individuals. Experts recommend getting at least 30 minutes of daily activity to counter the effects from sitting. More »

Reinvent your walking regimen

A brisk walk is excellent exercise, but some people find it boring. Incorporating other activities into the walk can make it more interesting. For example, a person can boost cardio fitness during a walk by using Nordic walking poles or by periodically picking up the pace for brief spurts of 15, 30, or 60 seconds. A brisk walk can also be used as a time to socialize with family or friends, or to have a heart-to-heart chat. A brisk walk is also a good time to practice mindfulness. More »

Step up your walking fitness

People who walk for their primary form of exercise, or even just for recreation, need to make sure they stay in good walking shape to avoid injuries and improve their endurance. Adopting a cross-training routine that focuses on strengthening the legs, hips, and core can keep walkers in tip-top shape. (Locked) More »

Stop counting calories

Experts are learning that the old idea of calories in, calories out, isn’t necessarily accurate or the best way to lose weight. Even careful calorie calculations don’t always yield uniform results. How a person’s body burns calories depends on a number of factors, including the type of food eaten, metabolism, and even the presence of certain gut microorganisms. The truth is that two people can eat the exact same number of calories and have very different outcomes when it comes to weight. (Locked) More »

5 tips to help you stay healthy this winter

To stay healthy this winter, people should stick to tried-and-true infection-control strategies, such as handwashing, following a healthy lifestyle, having regular medical check-ups, and getting a flu shot and other recommended vaccines. This year, wearing a mask and avoiding large gatherings is also important. New products marketed to kill germs may be ineffective; the best cleaning strategy is to wipe surfaces clean, and then use a simple disinfectant. (Locked) More »

Home gym advantage

COVID-19 forced most gyms and fitness centers to close and to require more restrictions once they reopen. Home-based exercises are ideal for maintaining fitness during the pandemic. Investing in a stability half-ball and resistance bands can help replicate most machine or hand weight exercises. (Locked) More »

Racquet sports: A good way to ramp up your fitness

Playing tennis and other racquet sports can be a fun, effective way to improve fitness. Tennis engages muscles throughout your upper and lower body, which challenges the heart. The sport also features short bursts of high-intensity activity interspersed with less vigorous movements. This type of exercise, known as high-intensity interval training, seems to be a good way to boost cardiovascular fitness. Pickleball and badminton, which are less physically demanding than tennis, may be a good option for people who are older or less fit. Racquet sports have been linked to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and a longer life. (Locked) More »

Relief for sore backsides

Too much sitting can lead to a sore backside. The pain may be the result of a bulging disc in the back, irritated hamstring or buttocks muscles, or a type of bursitis. Ways to relieve pain include standing up and moving for a few minutes every hour, stretching the muscles in the buttocks, strengthening the core and back muscles, and using pillows when sitting to cushion the bones in the buttocks and support the lower back. (Locked) 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 »