Recent Blog Articles

Exercise & Fitness Archive

Articles

Three moves for functional fitness

Published August 1, 2022

Older adults can benefit from functional fitness exercises—those that focus on the muscles needed for basic everyday actions, like squatting, bending, reaching, and twisting. An all-around exercise routine that addresses the major muscle groups is ideal for improving functional fitness. Still, people should add specific exercises that mimic basic movements, such as getting up and down from the ground or a seated position, bending down and lifting objects, and carrying heavy or bulky items.

Waist trainers: What happens when you uncinch?

Published July 20, 2022

Splashy advertisements suggest that compression devices called waist trainers can help you sculpt inches off your waistline. The claims far outweigh the evidence, but exercises that strengthen core muscles can also help shape your waist.

Grab your paddle

Published July 1, 2022

Paddle sports, like canoeing, kayaking, and paddleboarding, tone muscles in the back, shoulders, arms, and core to help make everyday movement easier and safer. Plus, water activities get people to interact with nature, which can boost their mental and emotional health. Begin by signing up for individual or group paddling lessons where all equipment is provided. The experience teaches you the basics, like how to paddle and safely get in and out of the boat, and other rules and etiquette.

Stronger body, healthier heart?

Published July 1, 2022

Doing 30 to 60 minutes per week of strength training exercises is linked to a lower risk of premature death in general, and from heart disease in particular. Regular strength training may improve heart health by lowering the risk of blood pressure and metabolic syndrome. Body-weight exercises such as standing lunges and bench push-ups are a convenient way to build muscle because they can be done anywhere, without the need for special exercise equipment.

Rowing or paddling after age 60

Published June 1, 2022

Water sports that use oars or paddles are effective forms of exercise with many health benefits. However, the sports may pose health risks, especially after age 60. The sports have a repetitive component to them. Paddling can stress the shoulder tendons. Rowing can lead to low back strains. Neither sport would be a good idea for people with tendinitis at the shoulder, elbow, or wrist; a diagnosed back problem such as a disc injury or spinal stenosis; or a previous back surgery.

Another benefit of exercise: Eye comfort

Published June 1, 2022

Vigorous exercise may improve dry, itchy eyes by boosting tear production and quality.

Ready, set, hike!

Published June 1, 2022

Hiking continues to be one of the safest activities people can enjoy during COVID because it is done outside and away from confined group settings. The outdoor adventure also is one of the best exercises for both body and mind, as it can improve lower-body strength and endurance, increase balancing skills that can protect against falls, lower levels of stress and anxiety, and reduce the risk of depression.

Strong legs help power summer activities: Hiking, biking, swimming, and more

Published May 12, 2022

Legs are the foundation for many enjoyable activities—running, bicycling, swimming, and more. Building strong leg muscles can improve your performance, build endurance, and reduce your risk of injury. These exercises will work all of the major muscle groups in your legs.

Keep exercise-related injuries from derailing your workouts

Published May 1, 2022

Exercise-related injuries are often preventable using a combination of strategies, such as warming up before an exercise session, increasing workout intensity gradually, opting for low-impact options, and performing exercises using the proper body position. Changing up the choice of activities can help people avoid repetitive strain injuries associated with focusing on a single sport, such as golfer’s elbow, tennis elbow, and iliotibial band syndrome, which causes pain along the outside of the knee.

Tune in to better video workouts

Published May 1, 2022

The pandemic has increased the number of video workouts available to homebound exercisers. Many fitness centers routinely offer livestreamed classes, and exercise videos are readily accessible online. While video workouts are still a great option for those who are not ready to return to the gym or who want an alternative and fun way to exercise, people should follow some basic guidelines to ensure they get the most from their online experience.

Free Healthbeat Signup

Get the latest in health news delivered to your inbox!

Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Thanks for visiting. Don't miss your FREE gift.

The Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness, is yours absolutely FREE when you sign up to receive Health Alerts from Harvard Medical School

Sign up to get tips for living a healthy lifestyle, with ways to fight inflammation and improve cognitive health, plus the latest advances in preventative medicine, diet and exercise, pain relief, blood pressure and cholesterol management, and more.

Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Health Alerts from Harvard Medical School

Get helpful tips and guidance for everything from fighting inflammation to finding the best diets for weight loss...from exercises to build a stronger core to advice on treating cataracts. PLUS, the latest news on medical advances and breakthroughs from Harvard Medical School experts.

BONUS! Sign up now and
get a FREE copy of the
Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness

Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Stay on top of latest health news from Harvard Medical School.

Plus, get a FREE copy of the Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness.