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

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 »

Improving heart health is also good for your brain

Everything that is unhealthy for your blood vessels and your heart has also been linked to memory and thinking problems. You can safeguard your brain power by adopting a heart-healthy Mediterranean diet, getting plenty of aerobic exercise, managing stress, and sticking with your heart medicines.  (Locked) More »

Surprising new ways to build healthy knees

Keeping the leg and hip muscles strong and coordinated helps prevent knee injuries and reduce pain. Some of the best ways to boost knee health include improving balance, losing weight, and strengthening the muscles above and below the knees. Weight loss is important to knee health because it reduces the amount of pressure in the joint. Balance requires your knees to work together with the other joints that enable you to stand—the hips and ankles. The quadriceps, hamstrings, and gluteal muscles provide power to your knee and the ability to extend and bend your leg. (Locked) More »

Easy ways to exercise at home

Exercising at home can have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life and stop the decline in muscle mass that happens with aging. One should get the okay to exercise from a doctor first, and then see a physical therapist to develop a plan that includes aerobic exercise and strength training. Ideas for aerobic exercises include going up and down stairs, dancing, marching in place, walking on a treadmill, or walking at a brisk pace inside a house. Strength training ideas include working with resistance bands, doing chair yoga, or using small weights. (Locked) More »

Exercising outdoors in cold weather

Dr. Anne Fabiny discusses how she prepares for exercising outdoors in cold weather. She discusses wearing lots of layers, using caution to keep from falling, protecting skin and lips from the elements, and opening up her airways in advance. (Locked) More »

Don't let mobility sneak out the door

The ability to leave the home and move around freely without assistance is essential to living a healthy, independent life. Losing that mobility can lead to a spiral of health problems and a higher risk for premature death. A recent large clinical trial confirmed that loss of mobility can be reduced with regular exercise for strength, flexibility, balance, and endurance. More »

Light jogging linked to longer life

A study found that compared with not running at all, even five to 10 minutes a day of low-intensity running may be enough exercise to extend life if performed regularly and long-term. (Locked) More »

Why women stop exercising

It's common knowledge that regular exercise helps you feel better and stay healthier. So why do so many people stop exercising? (Locked) More »

Shoulder shape-up: Keep your body's most flexible joint in top condition

Shoulders can become stiff and painful from disuse. Stretching and strengthening exercises can help keep shoulders functioning smoothly and pain-free. Gentle stretches can help to ease general shoulder stiffness and pain. Also consider exercises to your fitness routine that involve inward and outward rotation against resistance and pulling toward the midsection (rowing). If shoulder pain gets worse over time, gets worse at night, lasts more than four to six weeks, or severely limits normal arm movements, consult a physician because there may be a more serious joint problem. (Locked) More »