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

Ask the doctor: Why am I getting shorter?

After age 40, people lose a little less than half an inch in height with each decade. One can try to avoid losing height by eating foods with calcium, getting enough vitamin D, and staying physically active. (Locked) More »

Osteoarthritis relief without more pills

For mild osteoarthritis, an occasional dose of an over-the-counter pain reliever may be all that’s needed to keep the pain and stiffness associated with osteoarthritis in check. But as osteoarthritis gets worse, men may become interested in ways to cope with pain and other symptoms without taking more medications. The main options are weight control, exercise, and physical therapy, especially for knee and hip arthritis. Some physical therapists offer additional services, such as ultrasound and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) . Some people with osteoarthritis find acupuncture helpful. The evidence for “joint support” dietary supplements, in contrast, is poor. More »

Feeling young at heart may help you live longer

Feeling younger psychologically might lead to better health. When people feel younger psychologically, they’re more likely to pursue physical exercise, even if it’s challenging. If people feel young, they may have more of a futuristic orientation that leads them to eat with future health in mind. People who report feeling older than they are may be suffering from depression, which, in turn, increases the risk of heart disease. They may also simply have an accurate assessment of their state of health. (Locked) More »

Yoga's health advantages may extend to the heart

Yoga combines gentle physical movements, breathing, and meditation, all of which may lower heart disease risk. People who do yoga may reap benefits similar to those seen with brisk walking, such as weight loss, lower harmful LDL cholesterol levels, and lower blood pressure. Some cardiac rehabilitation programs incorporate yoga, which can be easily adapted to accommodate balance issues or other physical limitations. More »

Neck pain: Core exercises can help

Strengthening your core muscles to better support your spine can help prevent neck pain. Six exercises are illustrated. Pulling your chin in, sitting up straight, adjusting your workspace, can also help. (Locked) More »

Safe exercise: Know the warning signs of pushing too hard

Pain and certain other symptoms during exercise are not normal. Red flags fall into four categories: chest pain, shortness of breath, lightheadedness, and joint pain. Experiencing any of these symptoms during physical activity is a sign that one should stop exercising and call a doctor, such as a primary care physician or a specialist for a known underlying cause. Ignoring symptoms and pushing through an exercise may cause damage to the heart or muscles.  (Locked) More »