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

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 »

Exercise can add years to your life

People who engage in leisure-time physical activity can extend their lives by as much as four years, compared with similar-weight people who do no such activity. Being active and also maintaining a healthy weight boosts longevity by more than seven years. (Locked) More »

Exercise for cancer fatigue

Aerobic exercise reduces fatigue in people being treated for or recovering from treatment for cancer. Consult with your doctor before starting a new exercise program. (Locked) More »

Depression and obesity: Confirming the link

It appears obesity is associated with depression in older adults. Obesity affects the parts of the brain that regulate mood. Low energy and low motivation from depression can translate into less activity and exercise. The result may be weight gain. Individuals can break the vicious cycle by making a small change in eating or exercise habits. Losing weight will improve motivation, energy, and mood. (Locked) More »