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

Belly fat may pose more danger for women than for men

Weight carried around the middle may signal a greater risk for heart attack in women than in men with belly fat. Strategies to prevent weight gain can help reduce this risk. Monitoring waist-to-hip ratio can help indicate a potential problem. Whittling the waist requires reducing calories and increasing physical activity. (Locked) More »

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 »

Balancing act

Every year, about one-third of adults older than age 65 experience at least one accidental fall. About 20% of these falls result in a serious injury like broken bones in the wrist, arm, and ankle; hip fractures; and head injuries. Performing balance exercises can help reduce a person’s risk of falling. (Locked) 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 »

Treatments for breast cancer may harm the heart

Women treated for breast cancer may face a heightened risk of heart disease from the effects of chemotherapy and radiation. But physicians known as cardio-oncologists can offer strategies to both prevent and treat heart damage from cancer therapy. These include echocardiograms before and after treatment to monitor any possible abnormalities, as well as changes to medications such as statins and blood pressure drugs. Physical activity may also decrease the risk of heart injuries related to breast cancer treatment. (Locked) More »

Wearable weights: How they can help or hurt

Wearable weights serve several purposes. Wearable wrist weights can substitute for a dumbbell for people who can no longer grip weights in their hands. Wearable ankle weights can make the muscles work harder for people who do targeted leg and hip exercises. A weighted vest may be useful when worn on a walk. But wearing ankle or wrist weights on a walk may cause muscle imbalance. It’s best to check with a doctor before incorporating wearable weights into a workout. More »