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 best heart healthy workouts for your 60s 70s and 80s

Even after many years of not exercising, there are compelling reasons to get active. People who increase their activity in mid- to late life reap benefits in terms of longer life and lower heart disease risk. A good exercise regimen involves increasing daily activity as well as establishing a structured exercise program that includes moderate aerobic activity and some form of strength training.  More »

5 Action Steps for Early Heart Failure

Heart failure may start with injury from a heart attack, develop as a result of damaged valves, or be brought on by underlying disease. Many times, it is the product of years of toil against high blood pressure and clogged arteries. Regardless of what sets the process in motion, recognizing the problem early and taking appropriate action can help you live longer and better.  (Locked) More »

5 tips to build muscle strength

Strong muscles are needed to strengthen bones, control blood sugar, improve cholesterol levels, maintain a healthy weight, reduce joint pain, and fight mild depression. When undertaking a strength training program, it’s important to work with a certified personal trainer or a physical therapist; use both weights and resistance bands; get enough sleep to allow muscles time to rebuild; eat the right combination of protein sources, grain-based carbohydrates, and fruits and vegetables; and work strength training into daily activities. (Locked) More »

Optimal muscle health takes more than strength training

Healthy muscles allow people to remain active and independent. Also, muscles produce various substances that enhance overall health. Muscle mass declines with age, in part because of biological changes but also because people become less physically active. Muscle mass can be preserved with regular resistance training to build strength. In addition to strong muscles, a person needs to preserve balance, coordination, and agility. This helps prevent harmful falls. Examples of exercise that builds coordination and balance are tai chi, yoga, pilates, and ballroom dancing. (Locked) More »

Pill-free way to reduce pain and improve balance and flexibility

Yoga is a series of postures and breathing techniques that include an element of awareness. It has many components that can help one cope with everything from chronic illness to sleep disorders. The poses help decrease muscular tension and build flexibility and strength. Weight-bearing postures can help build bone strength, and there are postures to improve balance. The mindfulness aspect of yoga helps with stress reduction, improves sleep, and helps one become more accepting of the body during the aging process. (Locked) More »

Double trouble: Coping with arthritis and heart disease together

People with heart disease and arthritis face challenges with regard to exercise—which is important for both conditions—and medications. Swimming, recumbent biking, and walking are good choices for most people with heart disease and arthritis, who tend to be less active than people with either disease alone. Certain medications to ease arthritis pain, especially nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory pain relievers, can interact dangerously with drugs for heart conditions. Avoiding certain drugs or taking them at different times may be needed. (Locked) More »

Five easy ways to start exercising

For many people, exercising is a daunting chore. But regular exercise is medicine. It helps ward off dementia, heart disease, diabetes, depression, and many other health problems. To find motivation, doctors recommend thinking of exercise as fun, not work; using it as a means to get off medication; fitting exercise into daily routines such as walking in parking lots or volunteering; and trying short workouts of just 10 minutes at a time. (Locked) More »

Protect your memory and thinking skills

Any increase in blood sugar levels is linked to an increased risk of developing dementia. Researchers speculate that this may be because high blood sugar levels are causing more vascular disease or because of insulin resistance. There’s no direct proof that reducing blood sugar level reduces dementia risk. However, there are many reasons to keep glucose levels lower. Excess blood sugar can lead to a variety of health problems including heart, eye, kidney, and nerve disease. Heart disease is linked to vascular dementia, caused by narrowed blood vessels in the brain. Shifting to a healthier diet can help. (Locked) More »