Physical Activity

Physical Activity Articles

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 »

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 »

Puppy love may help your heart

A growing number of studies show health benefits related to owning a dog. This includes improved heart health, according to two recent studies. This may be the case because dog owners get more exercise caring for their animals, and they may spend more time outdoors. In addition, the companionship may help their mental health. (Locked) 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 »

Run for a longer life? Just a short jog might make a difference

Small amounts of jogging or running may lower the risk of heart disease and help people live longer. Even running just once a week, for less than 50 minutes ‌each time and at a speed below 6 mph, seems to have benefits. Experts recommend starting low and slow, such as by adding short periods of running during a brisk walk. Each week, adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity (such as brisk walking) or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity (such as running) or a combination of moderate and vigorous physical activity. (Locked) More »

Born to move: Human hearts evolved to need exercise

Chimpanzees, which are humans’ closest evolutionary relatives, have hearts with thick, stiff walls. This adaptation reflects their need for short bouts of climbing and fighting. In contrast, prehistoric people had to hunt and gather food to survive, so the human heart evolved to have thinner, more flexible walls. These adaptations reinforce the importance of regular brisk walking or jogging throughout life to stay healthy. Young people who don’t exercise regularly may have hearts that more closely resemble chimpanzee hearts. This may contribute to high blood pressure later in life. More »

The act of balancing

As people age, their sense of balance can sharply decline, which can raise the risk of injuries and even death from falls. Changes in flexibility, muscle strength and power, body sensation, reflexes, and even mental function all contribute to declining balance. Adding balance exercises and multifaceted movements can help. More »

Boost your activity level in small bites

A new strategy called high-intensity incidental physical activity, or HIIPA for short, can help boost fitness, especially in individuals who are sedentary. The strategy encourages people to incorporate short bursts of moderately challenging regular activities—such as climbing the stairs, heavy cleaning, or walking from a more distant parking space to an entrance—to boost fitness. It builds on the concept of high-intensity interval training, but also adopts new information that shows activity doesn’t necessarily need to be formal exercise to count toward fitness goals. (Locked) More »