Physical Activity

Physical Activity Articles

Apps, texts, and sensors for boosting heart health: Do they help?

Mobile health technologies, including smartphone apps and text message reminders, show some promise for helping people make heart-healthy behavior changes. So far, limited data suggest benefits from apps that focus on weight loss and smoking cessation, and from online programs (including Web-based tutorials and networking opportunities) to boost physical activity. There is not enough research to show a benefit for wearable sensors that track physical activity. (Locked) More »

Are weight-loss drugs worth trying?

Four new weight-loss drugs expand options for treating obesity and may be safer than earlier versions. They should be used as part of an overall program that includes diet, exercise, and often counseling. More »

How to banish aches and pains

Regularly engaging in a variety of physical activity can help to relieve and prevent everyday aches and pain in the muscles and joints. For longstanding, chronic musculoskeletal pain, it can help to see a physical therapist to carefully evaluate the causes and recommend appropriate and safe stretches. A regular stretching routine, such as yoga, aids flexibility, strength, and range of motion in joints. Being too sedentary can lead to problems like tight hamstring muscles in the back of the leg, which can contribute to lower back pain. (Locked) More »

Injuries are up among older cyclists

The number of injuries and hospital admissions among older bicycle riders has made a startling jump. This may be because of an increase in older bike riders, more street accidents, and sport cycling. More »

Punch up your exercise routine with fitness boxing

Fitness boxing is a popular physical activity for older adults. There are two main types of these exercise classes. In one, participants follow a leader and do a series of boxing moves choreographed to bouncy music, similar to an aerobics class. In the other, participants may hit a punching bag, stretch, and strength train. Both types of classes are available for people who wish to remain seated while punching at the air or at a punching bag. Fitness boxing is a great aerobic activity. It also helps improve muscle strength, endurance, balance, and possibly eye-hand coordination. More »

Physical therapy as good as surgery for common spine-related back pain

Surgery and intensive physical therapy each produce similar relief for spinal stenosis, or back pain caused by narrowing of the space around the spinal nerves. Surgery has risks, but physical therapy requires more effort. The choice comes down to personal preference. Some men may find surgical risks acceptable in exchange for the chance of immediate relief; other men may prefer to give physical therapy a try first. Research suggests that the physical therapy must be relatively rigorous to be effective. (Locked) More »