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

Home gym advantage

COVID-19 forced most gyms and fitness centers to close and to require more restrictions once they reopen. Home-based exercises are ideal for maintaining fitness during the pandemic. Investing in a stability half-ball and resistance bands can help replicate most machine or hand weight exercises. (Locked) More »

Racquet sports: A good way to ramp up your fitness

Playing tennis and other racquet sports can be a fun, effective way to improve fitness. Tennis engages muscles throughout your upper and lower body, which challenges the heart. The sport also features short bursts of high-intensity activity interspersed with less vigorous movements. This type of exercise, known as high-intensity interval training, seems to be a good way to boost cardiovascular fitness. Pickleball and badminton, which are less physically demanding than tennis, may be a good option for people who are older or less fit. Racquet sports have been linked to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and a longer life. (Locked) More »

Relief for sore backsides

Too much sitting can lead to a sore backside. The pain may be the result of a bulging disc in the back, irritated hamstring or buttocks muscles, or a type of bursitis. Ways to relieve pain include standing up and moving for a few minutes every hour, stretching the muscles in the buttocks, strengthening the core and back muscles, and using pillows when sitting to cushion the bones in the buttocks and support the lower back. (Locked) More »

Can I do anything to prevent urinary incontinence?

Not all cases of urinary incontinence can be prevented, but a woman can reduce her risk by maintaining a healthy weight, quitting smoking, and exercising regularly. Kegel exercises can strengthen the muscles in the pelvis that support the bladder. (Locked) More »

Can I outwalk breast cancer?

Walking an average of an hour a day may reduce a woman’s risk of breast cancer. The American Cancer Society recommends getting at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each week. (Locked) More »

How to recover from post-traumatic stress disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a severe and potentially debilitating anxiety disorder that affects people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event. PTSD often develops in combat veterans, but it can also strike older adults, and especially men. Fortunately, there are many proven ways to help treat and manage PTSD. These include prolonged exposure therapy, social support, medication, exercise, and meditation. (Locked) More »

Three moves for better spine health

A strong core can stabilize your spine to help keep your lower back healthy and pain-free. The muscles, ligaments, and nerves surrounding the spine can weaken with age or from an injury, which can make movements like twisting, stretching, lifting, and bending difficult. The "big three" exercises—the curl-up, the side plank, and the bird-dog—can help develop a stable spine by strengthening the entire core musculature, from the abdominals to the whole back. More »

Tips to avoid constipation

There are many ways one can try to avoid constipation. For example, lifestyle remedies may help—such as increasing dietary fiber, getting regular exercise, and drinking three to six cups of water per day. If those approaches don’t work, doctors recommend using fiber supplements, such as psyllium husk (Metamucil), methylcellulose (Citrucel), or wheat dextrin (Benefiber). Another supplement that might help is magnesium. When all strategies fail, it may be time to try over-the-counter medication. One option is an osmotic laxative such as polyethylene glycol (Miralax). (Locked) More »