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

The no-drug approach to mild depression

While antidepressants can relieve and control symptoms of mild or moderate depression, they are not the only option. Fortunately, many nondrug options are available to help manage depression symptoms and prevent future episodes, such as exercising regularly, avoiding unhealthy foods, expressing gratitude, and staying socially active. More »

Updated exercise guidelines showcase the benefits to your heart and beyond

The 2018 exercise guidelines say that even short bouts of activity lasting just a few minutes can count toward the recommended goal of 150 minutes of moderate activity per week. The steepest drop in heart disease risk occurs at the lowest, initial levels of activity. In addition, a single bout of exercise seems to confer immediate benefits in four factors linked to heart health, including blood pressure, anxiety, insulin sensitivity, and sleep. More »

Add stretches to your exercise routine

Stretching—the deliberate lengthening of a muscle or group of muscles to increase flexibility and range of motion—may encourage people to maintain an exercise routine. But there is no proof that stretching before working out helps prevent exercise-related injuries. Doing static stretches (in which you adopt and hold a position) when your muscles aren’t warmed up may even cause an injury. Instead, gentle movements to stretch your muscles and loosen your joints, known as dynamic stretching, is a better choice before a workout. (Locked) More »

Are your hamstrings working double duty?

When the gluteal muscles are weak, which is common in the age of sitting too much, the hamstrings are continually overworked and overloaded. That increases the risk for hamstring injury. The best way to protect the hamstrings is to keep all of the leg muscles healthy and working together, including the glutes and the quadriceps in the front of the thighs. To accomplish this, workout routines will likely include exercises that target a single muscle group as well as those that target several muscles at the same time. More »

Don’t be such a stiff

It’s not known why people experience more morning stiffness as they age. Stiffness often occurs after long bouts of inactivity, which is why people feel so stiff when they wake up, since sleeping is when people are inactive for the longest continuous time. Stiffness also can happen after sitting for long periods like when watching TV, working at the computer, having dinner, or riding in a car. Staying active during the day and adopting a morning stretching routine can help prevent stiffness and soreness. (Locked) More »

Lessons from the masters

Elite level older athletes still face the same fitness challenges as regular people, but have developed strategies to help them maintain their health and reach their goals. By following their advice and insight, older men can learn how to exercise smarter to maximize their workouts, how to overcome obstacles like health issues, and how to stay motivated after a setback or during lazy days. (Locked) More »

Ouch! Shoulder pain and how to treat it

With age, the shoulders may be more susceptible to pain and injury. If the pain follows an injury or is severe, getting an immediate diagnosis from a doctor is wise. For general or mild pain, at-home strategies may be enough to ease discomfort. (Locked) More »

Thriving with localized prostate cancer

About 90% of men diagnosed with prostate cancer have the localized kind confined to the prostate gland. For many, a reasonable approach is active surveillance, in which men choose to have careful monitoring of their cancer instead of having surgery or radiation therapy. This is also an opportunity for men to keep their cancer from becoming more aggressive by changing their diet and exercise habits. More »