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

Self help for sore muscles

Regular exercise is vital for health and longevity, but it often comes with muscle strains and sprains. For simple soreness, try some RICE: rest, ice, compression, and elevation. (Locked) More »

Step up to better blood pressure

Maintaining a healthy blood pressure is vital for good health. To stay in the healthy zone, or get back there, lock in the basics like exercising more and cutting back on sodium. If medication is needed, a combination may be best. More »

Ask the doctors: Fainting while doing chin-ups?

I am a healthy 52 year old who likes to stay fit. Recently, I have occasionally fainted after doing eight or 10 chin-ups. My physician did an EKG and stress test the first time this happened and found my heart is normal. He had me wear a monitor for 24 hours, and it indicated nothing was wrong. Your thoughts? (Locked) More »

Exercise protects the heart when diabetes threatens

People with diabetes are more likely to have a heart attack or stroke, or die of cardiovascular disease, than those without diabetes. Exercise can help keep blood sugar under control, and is also good for the heart and the rest of the body.   (Locked) More »

Spinal manipulation and exercise trump drugs for neck pain

Today's computer-dominated workplace is especially tough on necks, because we sit so long with our shoulders slumped and heads extended toward monitors. People often recover from an episode of neck pain within a year, but relapses are common, and pain may come and go indefinitely. A comparison of treatments for neck pain found that both spinal manipulation and a program of exercises were more effective than medication. (Locked) More »

Ask the doctor: Is my LDL cholesterol too low?

I'm 80, I exercise and eat a healthy diet. My internist says my LDL is too low and that I should cut my statin from 40 mg to 20 mg a day. I also take 2,000 mg of niacin daily. Is there general agreement that one's LDL should not go below a certain point? (Locked) More »

Putting more brain in the bank

Mental and physical activity seem to be equally important in keeping the brain active to ward off cognitive decline in older age. Exercise seems to affect the brain directly, increasing the number of synapses and enhancing the action of neurotransmitters, the chemicals that make brain cell–to–brain cell communication possible. It also increases the production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a "brain juice" protein that promotes the production of new brain cells and the survival of existing ones. (Locked) More »