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

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 »

Healthy brain aging: No strain, no gain

As we age, mental exercise can keep mental skills and memory sharp. Relatively difficult mental activities can help the most. Physical exercise also helps to preserve mental skills with aging. Experts recommend that you remain a lifelong learner; take on mentally challenging tasks like learning a language; be willing to try things that get you out of your comfort zone; and staying socially connected. More »

Preventing psoriasis with exercise

Extremely vigorous exercise may help reduce the risk of new cases of psoriasis. Doctors recommend at least 3-4 hours of vigorous exercise per week (such as tennis, swimming, or running), as long as your doctor says it's okay. (Locked) More »

5 of the best exercises you'll ever do

Staying fit doesn’t require an expensive gym membership or an overabundance of sweat. Five simple exercises—swimming, tai chi, strength training, walking, and Kegels—can help keep your weight under control, improve your balance and range of motion, strengthen your bones, protect your joints, prevent bladder control problems, and even ward off memory loss. Learn how to do all of these exercises, and how to safely get started in an exercise program. If you have no time for exercise, you can find some simple ways to sneak activity into your daily routine. (Locked) More »

Impact of inactivity assessed

Physical inactivity is responsible for 6% of coronary artery disease, 7% of diabetes, 10% of breast and colon cancers, and 9% of premature deaths worldwide. Increasing activity by 10% to 25% could prevent up to 1.3 million deaths per year. (Locked) More »

The new medicine: Muscle strength

Staying healthy in your older years requires more than just aerobic exercise. Strength training is vital for maintaining muscle mass and bone health. That’s because by age 70, most of us have lost a quarter of our muscle strength. Working all the major muscle groups is important, but older adults should focus on strengthening the muscles around the hips and pelvis, as well as the large leg muscles (hamstrings and quadriceps), especially if you have knee arthritis. The most common workout options include weight machines and free weights. (Locked) More »

Ask the doctor: Shin splints at any age

Shin splints are caused by injuring muscles in the inner part of the lower leg. They can occur at any age. The best way to prevent shin splints is to warm up thoroughly before exercising.   (Locked) More »

How and why to add strength training to your exercise plan

  Many people who exercise focus on aerobic activities that get the heart pumping, walking, jogging, or treadmill work. They often overlook strength-building exercises. Health experts suggest doing two sessions of strength training each week. A beginner’s workout takes as little as 20 minutes, and doesn't require grunting, straining, or sweating like a cartoon bodybuilder. Strength and endurance training exercises can improve balance, reduce falls, help control blood sugar, raise confidence, brighten mood, and preserve vitality and independence in daily living.   (Locked) More »