Physical Activity

Physical Activity Articles

A plan for easy stretching

Regular stretching becomes even more important as people age. Flexibility naturally declines over time as muscles lose strength and tone, and ligaments and tendons get tighter, which makes many everyday movements more difficult like reaching overhead, squatting, twisting, and bending over. A simple daily all-around stretching routine can help improve flexibility and mobility. More »

Living room workouts

There are many ways to exercise when stuck indoors. Just stepping in place is a simple and effective aerobic workout: one should lift the knees high and raise and lower the arms to get to get the heart and lungs pumping harder. For a home strength training workout, one can lift household objects such as soup cans, or do body weight exercises such as standing planks and bridges. To stretch while at home, one can practice yoga or tai chi, or follow a list of stretches. (Locked) More »

Step up your walking game

Most people typically get around 3,000 to 4,000 steps per day doing things such as household chores, going to the mailbox, or grocery shopping. But people who walk 8,000 steps per day (about 4 miles in total) may live longer than those who walk just 4,000 steps per day—and walking speed doesn’t seem to matter. People who walk 12,000 steps per day may live even longer than those who take 8,000 steps. But the added benefit was small, and walking even more may not make a difference. More »

Turn your exercise into summer fun

Moving more is a worthy goal, but many people dread exercise. That’s often the case because people assume it means a trip to the gym or a stint on a treadmill. But exercise can take many forms, from gardening to dancing or an evening stroll. The key is to find enjoyable activities; people are often more likely to stick with these over time. (Locked) More »

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. 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 »