Physical Activity

Physical Activity Articles

Does exercising at night affect sleep?

New research suggests that people can exercise in the evening without it affecting their sleep as long as they avoid vigorous physical activity for at least one hour before bedtime. More »

Losing steam? Avoid these energy zappers

Lifestyle habits may be to blame for some daily fatigue. For example, eating too much processed food can increase inflammation, which impairs the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP)—the molecule that delivers energy to cells throughout the body. Getting too little sleep or being too stressed out all the time can increase levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which also reduces production of ATP. Eating a healthy diet, getting more sleep, and reducing stress can reduce fatigue. So can avoiding dehydration, exercising more, and staying socially connected. More »

Stretch your exercise plan beyond weights and cardio

Tight muscles can create health risks, making people more prone to chronic pain, balance problems, and even falls. Daily or every other day stretches can help reduce these risks and are a crucial part of a comprehensive exercise program. Stretches don’t need to be intensive to work. Even simple movements that take muscles and joints through a full range of natural motion are helpful. (Locked) More »

The lowdown on squats

One of the best exercises to counter the effects of prolonged sitting is the simple squat, which can be done with just body weight, dumbbells, or against a wall. Squats are a great exercise because they activate so many bones and joints at once, such as the hips, knees, feet, and ankles, as well as muscles like the quads, gluteals, hip flexors, hamstrings, and calves. Squats also can help build and maintain a stronger lower body, which makes movement easier and allows people to stay more active. (Locked) More »

Easy ways to adapt exercises when you have arthritis

As helpful as exercise is for osteoarthritic joints, it can also lead to injury. One can avoid the risks by adapting exercise so that it does not place excessive force on the joints. That may mean ditching high-impact classes that include a lot of jumping and opting for low-impact classes or pool aerobics. Other exercise classes that help include tai chi and yoga. At the gym, a stationary bicycle or an elliptical machine is good for low-impact aerobic conditioning. When using dumbbells or weight machines, it helps to use lighter weights with more repetitions. (Locked) More »

Updated exercise guidelines showcase the benefits to your heart and beyond

The 2018 exercise guidelines say that even short bouts of activity lasting just a few minutes can count toward the recommended goal of 150 minutes of moderate activity per week. The steepest drop in heart disease risk occurs at the lowest, initial levels of activity. In addition, a single bout of exercise seems to confer immediate benefits in four factors linked to heart health, including blood pressure, anxiety, insulin sensitivity, and sleep. More »

Recovering from heart surgery

Open-heart surgery leaves people with a long chest incision and a lengthy recovery. Most of the precautions people must follow during the first four to six weeks after surgery are to allow the breastbone to heal. For example, people should not drive, nor should they push, pull, or lift anything heavier than 10 pounds. They should also learn to use their legs rather than their arms to push up to standing from a chair or bed. Getting out of the house and walking every day, gradually going a little farther each day, is encouraged. (Locked) More »