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

How to get a move on

Women who have been sedentary for years can benefit from an exercise program. But getting started may be a challenge. Often it is a fear of not fitting in or the idea that they are not athletic that prevents them from taking the first step. But charting out a reasonable plan ahead of time can help overcome those barriers. (Locked) More »

Push past your resistance to strength training

Using stretchy, elastic bands or tubes (known as resistance or exercise bands) can be an easy, affordable way to strengthen muscles. For older, overweight, or less-fit people, resistance training can help build leg and core strength to make walking or other types of exercise possible. Muscle-building exercises may help speed up metabolism, lower body fat, improve cholesterol profiles, and ward off diabetes, all of which may help prevent heart disease. (Locked) More »

Your health through the decades

By age 60, all men tend to get thrown together into the so-called 60-and-older group, even though there are often significant differences between a man who is 65 and one who is 85. Certain lifestyle habits need to be maintained, no matter what a man’s age, such as adopting a heart-healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, and continuing a regular exercise routine to build strength, flexibility, and cardio fitness. Yet most men also need to place extra attention on certain aspects of their health depending on whether they are in their 60s, 70s, or 80s. (Locked) More »

Easy upper-body boosters

The loss of muscle mass begins in one’s 30s and accelerates after age 60. A loss of upper-body strength can make it more difficult to complete daily activities, and it may also increase the risk for muscle injury during an activity that involves reaching. A physical therapy program can help increase muscle mass in older age. A program typically involves gentle stretching to keep muscles supple, plus strengthening exercises like triceps curls, with low amounts of weight (just a few pounds) and a high number of repetitions. More »

Exercise: Better starting later than never

Exercising regularly throughout life is the best way to preserve heart health. But starting to exercise even in late middle age may lessen the risk of heart failure, a condition in which the heart can’t pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs. More »

Lifting weights might lift your mood

A new study found that resistance training, such as weight lifting and exercises like push-ups, can reduce depression symptoms.  Longer and harder sessions did not provide any more symptom improvement compared to shorter and less vigorous workouts. More »

Heart trouble in your family? Exercise may offer protection

People who have a family history of heart disease can lower their risk if they exercise more. Researchers found that people in this group who scored the highest in physical activity, grip strength, and cardiovascular fitness had a lower risk of heart attack and stroke compared with those in the group who scored lowest. More »

The benefits and risks of multigenerational fitness parks

Multigenerational fitness parks offer fun ways to exercise. The parks include playground equipment that’s suitable for people of all ages: swings are sturdy and roomy; slides are wide, with gentle slopes; and seesaws have ergonomically designed seats that are easy to sit on. The equipment makes it possible for adults to play alongside their kids or grandkids or other children. The parks may also include outdoor fitness equipment, such as leg presses and recumbent bicycles to build leg, hip, and core muscles and elliptical or cross-country ski machines for a total body workout. (Locked) More »