Physical Activity

Physical Activity Articles

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. 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 »

5 steps to long-lasting independent living

Older adults who want to continue to live independently need to focus on five areas of their health that can ensure their continued well-being and, ultimately, the preservation of their lifestyle. These five areas are staying mentally engaged, being active, sleeping well, eating right, and being current with health exams. (Locked) More »

Looking for a mellow form of exercise? Try tai chi

Tai chi is a slow, flowing form of exercise that’s sometimes described as “meditation in motion.“ It can be a good gateway exercise for people who cannot or will not engage in more conventional types of exercise. Tai chi may help lower cholesterol levels, reduce blood pressure, and dampen inflammation, all of which are linked to better heart health. Tai chi may also be a promising addition to cardiac rehabilitation. 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 »

Boredom busters to revamp your exercise routine

When an exercise regimen becomes tedious, there are several ways to make it more interesting. Examples include adding challenging moves, such as a lunge that ends with raising dumbbells overhead, and pairing exercise with other interesting activities, such as hiking and photography or walking while listening to music or a favorite podcast. If adjusting an exercise routine doesn’t increase interest, it may be time to try a brand-new exercise, such as ballroom dance, shadow boxing, step aerobics, or tai chi. More »

Run for a healthier life

New research has found that running for about an hour per week can offer many health benefits and it does not matter how far or fast you run during this period. For people who are hesitant about taking up running, adopting a simple run/walk program can help many novices ease into running no matter their fitness level. (Locked) More »