Physical Activity

Physical Activity Articles

Take a stand against heart disease

Almost one-quarter of adults still don’t meet the federal guidelines for physical activity, and chronic sitting may be a major reason. New statistics have found that a vast majority of older adults spend at least two hours a day or even longer sitting. This can lead to weight gain, blood clots in the legs, and is associated with an increased risk for a heart attack and stroke. (Locked) More »

Dive in for joint health

Swimming is an ideal exercise for older men to help improve overall joint health, or help them return to activity after a recent setback like an injury, surgery, or a long period without exercise. Since it’s a low-impact activity, swimming places minimal stress on the joints, and the buoyancy of the water allows people to move their limbs and joints more easily through their normal range of motion. This helps joints remain supple and improves overall flexibility. (Locked) More »

Dive into a swimming regimen

Lap swimming has many benefits for older adults. It’s great aerobic activity (which helps improve endurance and cardiovascular health and lower blood pressure); it’s great for strengthening muscles; and it helps maintain flexibility. Older adults can consider a lap swimming regimen if they’re generally healthy, are good swimmers, and get clearance from their doctors. It helps to warm up before swimming; use the proper equipment, such as goggles and a bathing cap; and stretch the muscles after a workout. (Locked) More »

Even light physical activity may help your heart

Growing evidence suggests that any type of activity—even low-intensity activity such as light housework or gardening—may help to lower a person’s risk of cardiovascular disease. Historically, light activity hasn’t been accurately reported in studies, but new research that uses a device to track body movements can assess light activity more precisely. The cardiovascular benefits of light activity may result in part from decreasing time spent sitting, a known contributor to poor heart health. (Locked) More »

Walk your dog, break a bone?

A study published online March 6, 2019, by JAMA Surgery identified a rising number of fractures among older adults walking leashed dogs: 1,700 in 2004, climbing to almost 4,400 in 2017. Most of the bone breaks were in the upper arm. More »

A leg up on peripheral artery disease

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) occurs when the arteries carrying blood to the leg muscles have narrowed, almost always because of a buildup of fatty plaque. PAD can cause leg pain or fatigue after just a few minutes of walking or climbing stairs, and it increases a person’s risk for heart attack and stroke. Addressing risk factors, like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking, and adopting a regular walking program can help prevent PAD and manage symptoms if it occurs. (Locked) More »

Fight back against muscle weakness

Muscle weakness impairs health. It slows metabolism, puts more pressure on the joints, hurts posture, throws off balance, and limits mobility. Weakness may be caused by aging, inactivity, medication side effects, or underlying conditions such as neuropathy. A doctor can help sort out the cause of muscle weakness with a physical exam and sometimes some blood tests or nerve testing. A regular program of strengthening and stretching the muscles will make a big difference in health. (Locked) More »

Should you use an active workstation at home?

An active workstation may be helpful for people who spend more than a few hours per day sitting at a desk at home, especially if they find it hard to take breaks from sitting. However, active workstations can pose some health risks. For example, standing for long periods overloads the joints and back and can worsen existing pain. Using a treadmill desk or a cycling desk may make it harder to concentrate. It’s best to try out an active workstation in a store (for an extended period) before making a purchase. (Locked) More »