Physical Activity

Physical Activity Articles

Resistance training by the numbers

Resistance training (also known as strength training) consists of doing upper- and lower-body exercises using free weights (like dumbbells, kettlebells, or barbells), weight machines, resistance bands, or even body weight. It is regarded as one of the best ways to slow and even reverse age-related muscle loss, known as sarcopenia. The constant challenge with resistance training is finding that happy medium between doing too little and too much. New guidelines suggest people should focus on five categories: type of exercise, reps, weight, sets, and frequency. (Locked) More »

A plan for flexibility

As people age, flexibility enables them to active, perform everyday movements, and avoid injuries. Still, most would admit they lack flexibility and that they don’t give it the necessary attention. Flexibility is something that most older people can improve with some effort and commitment. A simple set of three stretches, done regularly, can improve flexibility in the common problem areas of the backs of the thighs, the hips, and the chest. (Locked) More »

Can taking aspirin regularly help prevent breast cancer?

There is insufficient evidence that a regimen of low-dose aspirin can prevent breast cancer, and it poses risks, including severe bleeding episodes. So, unless more evidence comes to light, experts say it’s too early to recommend the use of low-dose aspirin for this purpose. Until a few years ago it seemed that low-dose aspirin therapy held potential for breast cancer prevention, but three major studies that came out in 2018 changed that picture. Studies have also suggested against the use of aspirin therapy for primary prevention of cardiovascular disease because of bleeding risks. (Locked) More »

Tai chi or yoga? 4 important differences

Tai chi and yoga are gentle exercises that share a long list of benefits, such as pain reduction and improved balance, flexibility, strength, mobility, mood, quality of life, range of motion, reflexes, and thinking skills. But the exercises have subtle differences. For example, tai chi consists mostly of flowing movements, while yoga has mostly static poses. And tai chi is typically performed while standing; yoga may be performed while standing, lying down, sitting on the floor, or kneeling on all fours. Choosing one over the other often comes down to personal preference and practical considerations. (Locked) More »

Women sit more after retirement

A recent study found that on average women were sedentary 20 minutes more each day after they retired than they were before—an unhealthy pattern that can lead to a higher risk for cardiovascular disease. More »

Get FITT to better fight heart disease

People who have been diagnosed with heart disease or are at high risk should adopt a regular aerobic exercise routine to help fight many of the disease’s risk factors, like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and excess weight. A formula known as FITT—for frequency, intensity, time, and type—offers a guide to putting together a routine that will keep a person motivated and provide the best heart-pumping workout possible. (Locked) More »

It’s not too late to get in better shape

Only an estimated 40% of American adults get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise a week, the low end of what the government recommends. Only 20% of adults perform the recommended strength training twice a week. This lack of movement makes older adults less fit than they could be for their age. But the good news is that people can build strength and improve their fitness at any age using a gradual, progressive approach that focuses on building strength, cardiovascular fitness, and flexibility and balance. More »

Don’t let muscle mass go to waste

Age-related muscle loss is a natural part of getting older. But muscle loss can occur faster after an injury, illness, or any prolonged period of inactivity, leading to muscle atrophy. The consequences can mean overall weakness, poor balance, and even frailty. The good news is that it’s possible to rebuild lost muscle through a comprehensive program that includes physical therapy, strength training, cardio, flexibility, and a nutrition plan that includes more protein and calories. More »