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

Thinking about training for a triathlon?

The odds of sudden death or cardiac arrest during a triathlon are very small—less than one in 50,000. Most fatalities occur during the swimming segment of the competition and are more likely to occur in men who are middle-aged or older. People with high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, or other risks for heart disease should check with a doctor before starting triathlon training. (Locked) More »

What to look for in a home treadmill

Home treadmill options are varied. Harvard experts recommend shopping for a home treadmill with a strong motor, a deck long enough for your stride, a sturdy frame and side rails, an emergency stop button, gauges that are easy to read, and buttons that are easy to use. Other options to consider include a built-in TV screen and compatibility with heart rate monitors. A person should try out a treadmill before buying it and make sure the treadmill comes with a warranty that includes servicing the motor. (Locked) More »

3 simple strategies to get the most from your yoga class

Not all yoga classes are created equal. Participants should find the right class and instructor for their needs. A little diligence in choosing the right class and making sure the instructor is aware in advance of any pain or medical conditions can help ensure a good experience. (Locked) More »

Are you functionally fit?

Exercise is important to maintain “functional” fitness, which is the ability of a person to perform regular daily activities, whether that means carrying laundry or playing with grandkids. A program to maintain functional fitness includes exercises that mimic daily activities, with motions that help the body get better at pushing, pulling, climbing, bending, lifting, reaching, turning, squatting, and rotating the trunk or shoulders. The exercises also train the muscles to work together. (Locked) More »

Feel the beat of heart rate training

Guidelines recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week. A good way to maintain moderate intensity is with heart rate training, in which a person exercises at 60% to 75% of maximum heart rate. By wearing a heart rate monitor while exercising, a person can have a constant reminder of exercise intensity, so he or she can stay in the moderate-intensity zone as much as possible. (Locked) More »

Roll away muscle pain

Muscle soreness can become a regular part of daily life as a person ages. If aches and tightness interfere with daily living, adopting a foam rolling routine can help. Foam rollers can address common problem area like calves, hamstrings, lower back, and IT (iliotibial) bands. The roller glides over muscles much like a rolling pin to knead out knots, and it’s firm enough to apply sufficient pressure to address deep spots. (Locked) More »

Staying connected can improve your health

Research shows that loneliness may have ill effects for health. Social bonds can fray as people age, particularly in times of stress such as after the loss of a partner or in cases of illness or disability. Taking steps to reconnect can not only help improve social life, but can also help protect health over the long term. More »

A day at the 5K races

Older men needing fitness motivation or looking for a new challenge should consider a local five-kilometer (5K) run. The events are ideal for beginners or more advanced runners and even walkers. Training for one can help men gauge current fitness, identify areas for improvement, and reduce the risk of knee pain and osteoarthritis. (Locked) More »

Don’t just sit there, move more!

Sitting for long, uninterrupted periods of time has harmful effects on heart health, even in people who exercise for an hour each day. The damaging effects include increases in belly fat, triglyceride levels, and insulin resistance, as well as a greater likelihood of developing heart disease or dying from any cause. Standing up or doing light exercise (such as walking) every hour or so may help lower these risks. Suggestions for adding more movement throughout the day include using a standing desk for computer work and sitting on an exercise ball or using a portable pedaling machine while watching television. (Locked) More »

Yoga can help with low back pain relief

A 12-week yoga program that focused on strengthening the core and improving mobility helped reduce pain and improve quality of life among people who suffered from chronic low back pain. More »