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

Skip vitamins, focus on lifestyle to avoid dementia

New guidelines released May 19, 2019, by the World Health Organization recommend a healthy lifestyle—such as keeping weight under control and getting lots of exercise—in order to delay the onset of dementia or slow its progression. More »

Bust your belly for a healthier heart

Visceral fat lies deep within the abdominal cavity and pads the spaces between your abdominal organs. While it makes up only 10% of total body fat, it can have the biggest impact on health, as high amounts are linked with a greater risk of heart disease. Following a high-quality diet is necessary to lose visceral fat, but high-intensity aerobic exercise may help even more. An ideal visceral fat-burning workout is 20 to 30 minutes of some kind of high intensity exercise, at least three days a week. (Locked) More »

Dive in for joint health

Swimming is an ideal exercise for older men to help improve overall joint health, or help them return to activity after a recent setback like an injury, surgery, or a long period without exercise. Since it’s a low-impact activity, swimming places minimal stress on the joints, and the buoyancy of the water allows people to move their limbs and joints more easily through their normal range of motion. This helps joints remain supple and improves overall flexibility. (Locked) More »

Dive into a swimming regimen

Lap swimming has many benefits for older adults. It’s great aerobic activity (which helps improve endurance and cardiovascular health and lower blood pressure); it’s great for strengthening muscles; and it helps maintain flexibility. Older adults can consider a lap swimming regimen if they’re generally healthy, are good swimmers, and get clearance from their doctors. It helps to warm up before swimming; use the proper equipment, such as goggles and a bathing cap; and stretch the muscles after a workout. (Locked) More »

Even light physical activity may help your heart

Growing evidence suggests that any type of activity—even low-intensity activity such as light housework or gardening—may help to lower a person’s risk of cardiovascular disease. Historically, light activity hasn’t been accurately reported in studies, but new research that uses a device to track body movements can assess light activity more precisely. The cardiovascular benefits of light activity may result in part from decreasing time spent sitting, a known contributor to poor heart health. (Locked) More »

Is your liver at risk?

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is a common condition that can lead to serious problems. Risk factors for the condition include obesity, diabetes., high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. While many Americans have the condition, it can be reversed sometimes by making simple lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, exercising more, and reducing sugar intake. (Locked) More »

To elevate your exercise routine, head outside

Walking or hiking outdoors in nature may offer some heart-related benefits beyond what people experience from an indoor workout. Beautiful vistas may encourage people to walk farther, and trails that include hills also help the heart work harder, which boosts fitness. Using walking poles adds an upper-body workout to the walk, in addition to increasing the number of calories burned. Natural settings tend to be quieter, cooler, and have better air quality than urban areas. Finally, spending time in green spaces—nature preserves, woodlands, and even urban parks—may ease people’s stress levels. (Locked) More »