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: Best way to work out

Workouts that mix high- and moderate-intensity exercise are not proved to be more beneficial than all-moderate exercise. Either way, 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity exercise is recommended for good health. (Locked) More »

How to start exercising if you're out of shape

People who are recovering from a heart attack, are overweight, or are out of shape may have a hard time meeting recommended federal exercise goals, which call for 2.5 hours a week of moderate-intensity exercise. For them, starting slow by doing light- to moderate-intensity activities (such as playing ping-pong, gardening, or ballroom dancing) makes sense. Brisk walking is often recommended as well, but people with certain health conditions, such as low back pain or obesity, may find that using certain types of exercise equipment is more comfortable.  (Locked) More »

Quick start strength training program

It takes very little exercise equipment to get a good strength-training workout at home or at the office. That’s because many exercises, such as wall push-ups, use the body’s own weight to create resistance. Inexpensive equipment, such as resistance bands or small dumbbells, can also add to a strength-training routine. It’s best to work with a physical therapist to develop a personal strength-training regimen. A regimen will include exercises such as squats, heel raises, and leg lifts. (Locked) More »

Take your workout to the pool

Exercising in the water is a good supplement to land exercise for aerobic conditioning and strength training because it is gentle on your joints. Most “Y”s and health clubs with pools offer water exercise training. (Locked) More »

Stand-up desk options

You can make stand-up desk from an old door and two sawhorses, customize a store-bought desk, or pay a company for a ready-made one. Here are some options. More »

Best exercise for balance: Tai chi

Tai chi is an exercise that can help reduce the risk of falling, which can help reduce the risk of suffering an injury. The exercise uses a series of slow, flowing motions, and deep, slow breathing to exercise the body and calm the mind. Participants move from one pose to another gradually, shifting their weight and extending their limbs to challenge their balance. It looks like a graceful dance. Tai chi has its roots in the Chinese martial arts.  More »

Staying active when you're away from home

Business or vacation travel can disrupt a regular fitness routine even for the most dedicated exercisers. However, options such as packable equipment (exercise bands and jump ropes), airport walking routes, and athletic shoe rental services at some hotels are convenient ways to stay fit away from home. (Locked) More »

7 stretching & strengthening exercises for a frozen shoulder

Frozen shoulder (also known as adhesive capsulitis) is a condition in which the shoulder is stiff, painful, and has limited motion in all directions. Frozen shoulder exercises are usually the cornerstone of treating frozen shoulder. Always warm up your shoulder before performing your frozen shoulder exercises. The best way to do that is to take a warm shower or bath for 10 to 15 minutes. You can also use a moist heating pad or damp towel heated in the microwave, but it may not be as effective. In performing the following frozen shoulder exercises, stretch to the point of tension but not pain. More »

Achilles tendonitis

Your Achilles tendon connects your calf muscles to your heel. It is the largest tendon in the body. It is also the strongest, withstanding great force each time you raise your body's weight on your toes, such as when you walk, run, jump, or stand on your toes to reach something. Achilles tendonitis (sometimes spelled tendinitis) is an inflammation of the Achilles tendon. Without treatment, this condition can become a long-term problem, increasing the chances of breaking (rupturing) the Achilles tendon. Achilles tendonitis is usually caused by overuse. It is common in runners and other athletes. Sometimes it is a sign of a body-wide joint condition such as ankylosing spondylitis. Wearing poorly fitting shoes, or wearing high heels every day, can also cause Achilles tendonitis. More »

How to choose and use a heart rate monitor

Heart rate monitors help people exercise at the right intensity, allowing them to safely reach their fitness goals. During an exercise session, healthy people should try to spend 20 minutes in their target range. Target heart rates range from 65% to 80% of the person’s maximum heart rate (220 minus age in years). Handgrip heart rate monitors found on fitness equipment may not be accurate; monitors with straps that circle the chest are a better choice. More advanced models offer programming options and additional data, but they aren’t needed to get a healthy workout.  (Locked) More »