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

Deep belly fat may weaken your bones

It appears that men with increased deep belly fat, the visceral fat that surrounds our organs, have lower bone strength. Researchers speculate that it’s because visceral obesity is associated with reduced secretion of growth hormone, which is essential for bone health, and because of the inflammatory cytokines secreted by the visceral fat cells. Visceral fat is also a risk factor for heart disease and diabetes. Exercise and diet are effective at reducing visceral fat or keeping it from growing. (Locked) More »

Protect your heart, keep your thoughts clear

Heart health is key to thinking health. If the heart isn’t pumping effectively, the brain may not receive enough blood flow to function properly. Heart disease is associated with nonamnesic mild cognitive impairment and vascular dementia. To protect thinking skills, it’s best to also protect heart health. Ways to do this include controlling high blood pressure, reducing cholesterol, quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet, and getting 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week. (Locked) More »

Strength training is better for bones

Strength building exercise helps to prevent bone loss with aging better than regular walking, although walking has proven benefits for heart health and overall physical fitness. (Locked) More »

Take a walk, reduce your risk of suffering a stroke

Recent research shows that women who walk at least three hours a week have a 43% lower stroke risk compared with women who are inactive. Walking also lowers the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and many other conditions. Doctors recommend 150 minutes of brisk walking per week. To begin a walking program, wear comfortable clothing and walking shoes; map out your route in advance; and keep track of your progress. (Locked) More »

The science of exercise shows benefits beyond weight loss

Exercise is good for you—in ways that go far beyond weight control and muscle building. Scientists are finding that the bodies of people who stay active throughout their lives improve all the way down to the insides of their cells. For example, active people’s mitochondria—the energy-producing power plants within each cell—become highly efficient at burning fatty fuel, even when that person is at rest. This doesn’t mean you have to run marathons—just 30 minutes of moderate activity nearly every day will do the trick. (Locked) More »

Top 5 ways to reduce crippling hand pain

The most common causes of hand pain include osteoarthritis, nerve conditions, and tendinitis. There are a number of ways to help manage the pain, retain hand function, and avoid surgery. Doctors recommend a splint to stabilize the position of the fingers, thumb, or wrist. An injection of a corticosteroid into a joint can also reduce hand pain, as can a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug. Applying heat can loosen hand stiffness. Applying cold is effective for hand pain that results from activity. Exercises and stretches can help reduce pain and stress on the hand joints. More »

7 things you can do to prevent a stroke

Aging and a family history can increase your risk for a stroke, but women can reduce this risk by managing factors that are under their control. Lowering high blood pressure, keeping weight in check, exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, losing weight, managing atrial fibrillation and diabetes, and quitting smoking can dramatically decrease the risk of a stroke. More »