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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »