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

7 simple ways for women to get active

Current guidelines recommend that adults get 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity physical activity, but women can decide how they get that exercise. It is best to space out activities—for example, exercising for 30 minutes, five days a week. And, breaking up activities into 10-minute sessions offers as much of a health benefit as exercising for a full half-hour at a time. Many everyday activities count as exercise, including gardening, playing with the grandchildren, and even making love. (Locked) More »

Physical vs. mental activity

Physical activity and mental stimulation are both considered vital for protecting your mental skills and warding off dementia. Many studies have shown consistently that regular exercise can increase the volume of brain regions important for memory and thinking. There is also abundant evidence that mental activity maintains cognitive health. A modest amount of aerobic exercise is sufficient to produce positive cognitive results. Many studies have employed regimens of moderate-intensity walking three days a week. For mental activity, doctors recommend activities that require active engagement, such as reading or crossword puzzles, not passive engagement, such as watching television. (Locked) More »

Chelation for heart disease

Many people try chelation therapy for a variety of reasons, but it is unproven and potentially risky as a therapy for heart disease. Instead, use proven measures like daily aspirin, exercise, blood pressure control, and lowering "bad" cholesterol. (Locked) More »

Lift weights for diabetes protection

For people who are unable to do aerobic activity, any kind of weight training is an effective way to reduce diabetes risk. That’s because muscles use glucose, and by creating more muscle that needs more glucose, weight training decreases blood glucose levels. This is encouraging for people who are unable to do aerobic exercise, but not an excuse for healthier people to get out of aerobic activity. Aerobic exercise and weight training are even more effective when combined, providing a risk reduction of up to 59%. (Locked) More »

Regular exercise extends life

Obtaining the generally recommended amount of daily physical activity-150 minutes a day-extends lifespan by up to five years. Men who were moderately active at age 20 could expect to gain 2.4 years over a lifetime. (Locked) More »

Remedies for hand cramps

The typical causes of cramps in the hands include dehydration and straining the muscles with repeated motions like typing. Low calcium or magnesium or a compressed nerve in the wrist may also cause cramping. Stretching the fingers may help. (Locked) More »