Physical Activity

Physical Activity Articles

Crucial ways you can support a healthy immune system

There’s no evidence that maintaining a healthy lifestyle will suddenly boost the immune system. However, it’s clear that healthy lifestyle habits contribute to overall health, supporting the body’s ability to fight infections instead of creating new problems. Healthy habits that help maintain a robust immune system include getting seven to nine hours of sleep per night, exercising, reducing stress, eating a healthy diet, not smoking, drinking alcohol only in moderation, maintaining a healthy weight, and getting underlying conditions under control. (Locked) More »

Getting into the swing of golf

Golf is a low-impact sport with several features that make it a good exercise for people who have or are at risk for heart disease. Playing 18 holes of golf without riding in a cart involves walking four to five miles, which easily meets the recommended daily step count of 10,000 steps. It also provides a chance to socialize with friends and to spend time in a relaxing natural environment, which may help lower stress. More »

Overcome your fear factor

Research has shown that feelings of general anxiety, nervousness, and fear tend to rise with age. This can lead to increased isolation and less exercise, and may progress to an anxiety disorder. Strategies to help manage and overcome increased feelings of fear include seeing a therapist, practicing mindfulness, consulting with a financial expert, and hiring a personal trainer. (Locked) More »

Your heart’s best friend: A canine companion?

Living with a dog may help protect against heart disease and help people live longer. Potential perks of dog ownership include lower blood pressure, a lower resting heart rate, and possible small improvements in cholesterol levels, perhaps because dog owners are less sedentary than non-owners. But dogs may also provide emotional and social benefits, such as reducing loneliness and anxiety, encouraging people to interact with neighbors, and fostering stronger ties to the community. (Locked) More »

4 exercise trends to try

Older adults may find four new exercise trends interesting and fun. The trends include circuit training—doing a series of exercises, each set up at a "station" in various parts of a large exercise room; cognitive workouts, which combine aerobic exercise with basic brain challenges; battle ropes—shaking and whipping large, heavy ropes that are anchored to a wall; and streaming workouts—watching live workout classes via television or smartphone. Before starting a new workout, one should check with a doctor to see if it will be both safe and beneficial. (Locked) More »

Give yourself a lift

Research shows that weight lifting is good medicine for active older adults. While there are many weight-lifting exercises, one move to include in a workout is the deadlift. The short, quick movement is a highly functional exercise that can increase lower-body strength and power, which improves mobility, balance, and stability. (Locked) More »

Staying healthy when you’re raising young grandchildren

Caring full-time for a grandchild can have lots of health risks for older adults, such as muscle tears from lifting children or fractures from brittle bones that can’t support the increasing weight of a child. Such risks are in addition to those of being anyone’s caregiver, such as not eating right or exercising enough. Grandparent caregivers can help protect health by setting a rigid sleep schedule for everyone in the house, exercising with grandchildren as they ride bikes or run around, and serving healthy adult foods. (Locked) More »

Rise up for your health

The sit-and-rise move, in which a person sits on the floor with legs crossed or straight out and then stands, is an easy way to gauge current strength, flexibility, and balance and to identify areas that need improvement. (Locked) More »

Try these stretches before you get out of bed

Stretching before one gets out of bed has many benefits. It can release the body’s "feel good" chemicals, lubricate the joints, and help people maintain their range of motion. Before stretching, one should move the muscles a little by flexing the joints. This will help get blood flowing to the muscles and make them more amenable to stretching. Any stretch done in bed should be hold for 30 to 60 seconds if possible, without bouncing. More »