Physical Activity

Physical Activity Articles

8 pill-free ways to lower your blood pressure

There are many ways to try to lower blood pressure without medication. Aerobic activity improves the blood vessels’ ability to open and close, which improves blood flow. Losing weight reduces the workload on the heart. Getting rid of refined grains, sugary foods, and saturated fats and replacing them with fresh vegetables and fruits, fiber, whole grains, and lean meats can reduce inflammation and damage to the blood vessel walls. Other ways to reduce blood pressure include smoking cessation, controlling underlying conditions, limiting alcohol intake, and meditation. (Locked) More »

Ask the doctor: Why am I getting shorter?

After age 40, people lose a little less than half an inch in height with each decade. One can try to avoid losing height by eating foods with calcium, getting enough vitamin D, and staying physically active. (Locked) More »

Battling breathlessness

Shortness of breath is one of the most common problems people bring to their doctors. The most obvious causes such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and coronary artery disease are relatively easy to uncover with a battery of standard tests. For some people, however, the source of the problem remains frustratingly elusive. Advanced cardiopulmonary testing that measures heart and lung function during exercise can often provide answers. (Locked) More »

Don't just sit there

Too much time spent sitting is linked to an increased risk for developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer, and an increased risk of dying from any cause. Experts recommend reducing sedentary time by two or three hours in a day. One way to get more active is to stand up and move around for one to three minutes every half-hour. Suggestions for short bursts of activity include standing while talking on the phone, folding laundry, or using a laptop; and exercising during commercial breaks while watching TV. (Locked) More »

Easy-does-it jogging may lead to a longer life

In one study, people who took a leisurely jog just a few times a week lived longer than those who avoided jogging. The joggers who reaped the longevity benefit ran for a total of one to 2.5 hours per week at a pace of about 5 mph. (Locked) More »

Osteoarthritis relief without more pills

For mild osteoarthritis, an occasional dose of an over-the-counter pain reliever may be all that’s needed to keep the pain and stiffness associated with osteoarthritis in check. But as osteoarthritis gets worse, men may become interested in ways to cope with pain and other symptoms without taking more medications. The main options are weight control, exercise, and physical therapy, especially for knee and hip arthritis. Some physical therapists offer additional services, such as ultrasound and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) . Some people with osteoarthritis find acupuncture helpful. The evidence for “joint support” dietary supplements, in contrast, is poor. More »

The downside of too much sitting

More than half of the average person’s waking hours are spent sitting: watching television, working at a computer, or doing other physically inactive pursuits. But all that sedentary behavior may put people at a higher risk for heart disease, as well as shortening their lives—even if they exercise up to one hour a day. Experts recommend taking steps to sit less throughout the day, such as standing while talking on the phone and doing light exercise during television commercials. (Locked) More »