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

Burning calories without exercise

 How to burn calories without exercise, from resting with a book to sitting and breathing. Try intentional non-exercise physical activity, like brisk walking or taking the stairs. More »

Get moving to slow cardiovascular aging

As people age and become less active, the muscle in the heart’s left ventricle—the chamber that pumps oxygen-rich blood back out to the body—becomes stiffer. But as with other muscles, it’s possible to keep your heart muscles in shape longer and perhaps even reverse some of the effects of age by getting regular cardio exercise of sufficient intensity and duration. More »

Overcoming your barriers to exercise

Only about half of adults in the United States meet the recommended physical activity guidelines. Lack of time and joint pain or other health issues are common excuses. Piggybacking activities onto daily habits, such as standing or walking while on the phone and walking to do errands can help. People with health problems that limit mobility can do non-weight-bearing exercises, such as swimming or water aerobics. (Locked) More »

Pedal your way to better heart health

Riding a bike can be a good way to exercise at different levels of intensity. Cycling also enables people to travel faster and farther than jogging but places less pressure on their joints. Indoor cycling options include a stationary bike at home or at a fitness center. Some centers also offer spinning classes, which are group indoor cycling classes led by instructors accompanied by motivating music. (Locked) More »

The truth about metabolism

Metabolism speed is often used to explain whether people have an easy or difficult time losing and maintaining weight. While metabolism plays a small role in weight management, people can increase their metabolism speed to a degree by following a proper diet and exercise. (Locked) More »

Cardio step workout

Harvard fitness expert Michele Stanten takes you through a simple routine that will safely elevate your heart rate to keep your fitness goals on track. More »