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: Jogging and arthritis

Jogging for exercise has not been shown to cause or worsen knee arthritis. If running causes pain, it can help to on a softer surface and alternate running with other forms of lower-impact healthy aerobic exercise. (Locked) More »

Is exercise really medicine?

The expression “exercise is medicine” has become a catchphrase to motivate people to move. But physical activity really is as effective as prescription medications in some cases. It can prevent the development of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, breast and colon cancer, depression, and falls. Physical activity improves sleep, endurance, and even sexual activity. And some scientists believe exercise is often as effective as drugs at preventing death from the most common killer diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.  (Locked) More »

Hearts and heat: Take common-sense steps to stay safe this summer

To stay safe in extreme heat, otherwise fit, active men should know and stay within their limits. Avoiding work and exercise during the hottest times of the day and drinking adequate fluids help prevent problems. Heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and muscle cramps are signs that the body is unable to regulate its temperature in extreme heat. Men with cardiac conditions are at increased risk for developing heat-related problems. They should also understand how medications could alter their response to extreme heat. Flushed, clammy skin; heavy sweating; weakness, lethargy, loss of concentration, headache, and nausea are signs of heat exhaustion. This can progress to heat stroke, which is a medical emergency and can be fatal. Men who feel these symptoms should get to a cool place and drink fluids. More »

How to know if a digital fitness monitor is worth the money

Digital fitness monitors (DFMs) are great tools to track exercise and diet progress. They come in wearable styles such as wristbands, watches, and pendants, as well as hand-held pieces that can be clipped on a sleeve or slip into a pocket. DFM features may be simple—tracking the amount of steps taken or calories burned—or they more sophisticated, with sensors that capture heart rate, perspiration, skin temperature, and sleep patterns. DFM prices increase with the amount of bells and whistles available. The majority are in the $50–$200 range. More »

Simple exercises to prevent falls

Changes to the brain and nervous system, vision, muscles, and other systems that control balance can lead to an increased risk for falls. Strength training, balance exercises, stretches, and other forms of exercise can help prevent falls. (Locked) More »

Easy exercises for healthy knees

Even a small amount of exercise throughout the day will make a difference in knee health. Just a few repetitions here and there will give the knee joint more stability, which decreases stress at the joint from any weight-bearing activities. That can also help lessen the progression of arthritis in the joint. It’s helpful to fit in a few repetitions while watching TV or talking on the phone. Exercises that can help improve knee health include heel raises, standing side leg lifts, standing knee lifts, seated hamstring curls, and seated knee extensions.   (Locked) More »