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Health News Results - 450

Stretches to Strengthen Your Core

THURSDAY, March 21, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Ever had a bad spasm from bending down to pick up your child or tie your shoes?

Keeping your core muscles -- the workhorses that stabilize your spine -- flexible with a stretching routine can help prevent this common occurrence and protect your back in general.

The Pelvic Tilt targets your lower back and your abdominals. L...

Walk, Dance, Clean: Even a Little Activity Helps You Live Longer

WEDNESDAY, March 20, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Want a reason to get out of your comfy armchair? Even low levels of regular physical activity -- brisk walking, dancing or gardening -- can reduce your risk of premature death, a new study finds.

Americans who got in just 10 to 59 minutes of moderate physical activity every week had an 18 percent lower risk of death from any cause, compare...

The Benefits of a Home Rowing Machine

TUESDAY, March 19, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Rowing is often called the best aerobic exercise because it offers a total body workout and is low-impact.

Rowing involves performing a continuous motion with focused coordination between the arms and the legs. If you've never rowed a boat or paddled a canoe before, it may take some time to get the hang of it, but the fitness benefits are wo...

Even Housework, Gardening Can Help an Older Woman's Heart

FRIDAY, March 15, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Think exercise has to be high-intensity to make a difference to your health? Think again. New research shows that even routine housework and gardening can help older women's hearts.

"For older women, any and all movement counts towards better cardiovascular health," said Dr. David Goff. He's director of the division of cardiovascular sciences...

For an Energizing Workout, Take It Outside

THURSDAY, March 14, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- As the weather starts to warm up, you might be excited to restart a swimming routine, but swimming isn't the only water sport that's also fun exercise. Many activities that used to be vacation-only pastimes are more accessible than you might realize.

If you're a fan of rowing, either the real thing or with cardio equipment that simulates th...

Which Type of Exercise Might Lower Your Diabetes Risk?

MONDAY, March 11, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Boosting your muscle strength could help ward off type 2 diabetes, a new study suggests.

Even moderate amounts of resistance exercise may help prevent type 2 diabetes, said the study's corresponding author, Duck-chul Lee. He's an associate professor of kinesiology at Iowa State University.

For the study, Lee's team tracked more than...

Stretches for Calves, Hamstrings and Quads

MONDAY, March 11, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Stretching your leg muscles can improve your flexibility and prevent injury. Here are three stretches that you can do every day and at every age.

Start with a calf stretch. Stand at arm's length from a wall and place your palms flat on the wall at shoulder height for support. Now take one big step backward with one leg. Keep that leg straight...

Did You Wait Until Middle Age to Get Fit? It Could Still Boost Your Life Span

FRIDAY, March 8, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- It's truly never too late to begin exercising, new research shows.

Even for people who were "couch potatoes" in their youth, embarking on a regimen of regular exercise in middle-age can still greatly cut the odds for death from any cause, a major new study finds.

The study tracked the health -- and lifetime exercise patterns -- of m...

First Steps After a Diabetes Diagnosis

THURSDAY, March 7, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- When you're diagnosed with diabetes, your doctor is likely to start you on a program to lower blood sugar and help insulin work more efficiently -- a regimen that may include a modified diet, exercise and possibly medication.

Starting (or ramping up) an exercise program can be the hardest of all these lifestyle changes. Typical exercise guid...

Pooch Peril: More Elderly Are Fracturing Bones While Dog Walking

WEDNESDAY, March 6, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Walking the dog can be great exercise for seniors, but there could be one downside: bone fractures.

Fractures suffered by elderly Americans while walking their dogs have more than doubled in recent years, new research shows.

Still, taking your dog for a walk can also bring big health rewards, one joint specialist said.

"...

Recipe for a Healthy Heart: Big Breakfasts, Less TV

WEDNESDAY, March 6, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Want a healthier heart? Get at least a fifth of your daily calories from your breakfast and stop watching so much TV.

Those are the conclusions of two studies to be presented next week at the annual meeting of the American College of Cardiology (ACC).

Both studies were based on data on the living habits of 2,000 middle-aged and ol...

NFL Players' Enlarged Hearts May Harm Health for Decades

WEDNESDAY, March 6, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- "Athlete's heart" -- an enlarged heart created by intense physical training -- is a common and often brushed-off condition within elite and professional sports.

But a new study of National Football League players is raising concern about the long-term consequences of athlete's heart when it comes to retirees who have long left the field.

Study Urges Seniors to Get Moving to Live Longer

WEDNESDAY, March 6, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Can you tell how long you'll live? For seniors, how fit you are may offer a clearer forecast of life span than traditional markers such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and smoking, a new study suggests.

It included more than 6,500 people, age 70 and older, who had an exercise stress test between 1991 and 2009. The test me...

Exercise Might Slow Colon Cancer's Advance

TUESDAY, March 5, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Exercise has countless benefits, even in small doses. And new research suggests the payoffs might extend to colon cancer patients.

Short sessions of intense exercise may slow the growth of colon cancer, Australian researchers report.

"We have shown that exercise may play a role in inhibiting the growth of colon cancer cells," said l...

Get in Shape for Tennis and Other Racquet Sports

MONDAY, March 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Playing singles tennis is a great way to have fun and exercise, and if you have access to an indoor court, it can be a year-round workout option that builds camaraderie along with muscle tone.

But before you hit the court, it's important to get your game on safely. By practicing a pregame plan for these strenuous workouts, you'll be less like...

Exercise Secrets to a Better Bottom

THURSDAY, Feb. 28, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- If you're bored with doing squats for a better bottom, it's time to vary your workout.

For a study sponsored by the American Council on Exercise (ACE), scientists at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse evaluated popular exercises for the glutes to find the ones that are most effective.

Popular Glutes Strength-Training Exercise...

Walking, Not Riding, Boosts Health in Golfers With Knee Woes

TUESDAY, Feb. 26, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Walking the golf course instead of riding in a cart offers heart health benefits that may outweigh potential joint harm for golfers with knee osteoarthritis, a new small study reports.

The study included 10 golfers with knee osteoarthritis who played two 18-hole rounds of golf. They walked the course in one round and used a golf cart in the ...

Evening Exercise Won't Wreck Your Sleep

MONDAY, Feb. 25, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Sometimes, it's just not possible to fit in a workout in the morning or afternoon. But if you hit the gym in the evening, will you be up half the night?

New research says no. The Australian study found that 30 minutes of high-intensity interval training didn't have any negative impact on sleep.

In other good news, the researchers sa...

AHA News: For the Best Health, Does the Intensity of Your Workout Matter?

FRIDAY, Feb. 22, 2019 (American Heart Association News) -- Jog for long enough or engage in just about any physical activity that gets the heart pumping, and the result can be a feeling of euphoria commonly known as a runner's high.

Sure, it feels good, but does higher-intensity exercise lead to better health?

It can. Recently released federal physical activity guidelines...

Smart Steps for Stronger Calves

THURSDAY, Feb. 21, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Have you been neglecting your calves? Many people forget about these important muscles when doing strength training. These exercises will add definition and help protect against some lower leg injuries.

Start with seated calf raises. Sit on a chair or bench with feet flat on the floor. Lift your right heel as high as you can, pressing toes i...

Active Brain <i>and</i> Body Are Powerful Weapons Against Dementia

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 20, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- You need to exercise both your brain and your body during middle age to guard against dementia as you grow older, a new, long-term study suggests.

Keeping mentally active through activities like reading, playing music, sewing or painting reduces your overall risk of both dementia and Alzheimer's disease, according to the report.

A...

Brief Morning Exercise Helps Ease Blood Pressure Throughout the Day

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 20, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- A half-hour of morning exercise can help control blood pressure in overweight and obese people for the entire day, a new study finds.

And for women in particular, adding frequent short breaks from sitting through the day can offer additional benefit, the Australian researchers said.

"For both men and women, the magnitude of reduct...

Exercises to Build Your Upper Body Strength

TUESDAY, Feb. 19, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Upper body strength is important at every age, but you don't need to be a bodybuilder to benefit from working your pectoral, or chest, muscles.

For a study sponsored by the American Council on Exercise, scientists from the University of Wisconsin La Crosse evaluated nine popular pec exercises to determine which ones best engaged these muscle...

Boosting Your Diet for Exercise

FRIDAY, Feb. 15, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- A typical workout doesn't give you license to eat whatever you want.

Even a full hour of vigorous skiing burns just 600 calories -- less than the amount in a super-sized fast food sandwich. That's why it's important to think of exercise as just one part of a shape-up plan.

Exercise works the cardiovascular system and builds muscle, b...

Everyday 'Triggers' May Bring on A-Fib Episodes, Study Finds

THURSDAY, Feb. 14, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Many older Americans are diagnosed with the irregular heartbeat known as atrial fibrillation, or "a-fib." Now, research suggests that everyday foods, drinks or activities might trigger episodes of the stroke-linked condition.

The bad news: Triggers include coffee, alcohol and sleepless nights. The good news: These factors can all be avoided...

How Inactivity and Junk Food Can Harm Your Brain

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 13, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- If you're in your 50s and your typical day involves sitting at a desk followed by lounging on the sofa and succumbing to late-night snacks, the long-term toll on your mind might be greater than you think.

Like dominoes, an unhealthy lifestyle can trigger inflammation throughout your body, which can then accelerate wear-and-tear on your brai...

Hydrate Right, Your Kidneys Will Thank You

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 13, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Downing the wrong type of drink when you exercise could put you at risk of kidney disease, a new study warns.

Specifically, the threat is from having sugary, caffeinated soft drinks during exertion in a hot environment, according to researchers at the University at Buffalo in New York.

The small study included 12 healthy adults wh...

Unfit Teens Often Grow Into Sickly Middle Age, Study Shows

TUESDAY, Feb. 12, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Teen boys who are unfit and/or obese have higher odds for chronic disease and disability as adults, according to a large Swedish study.

Researchers followed more than 1 million boys for an average of 28 years, starting when they were 16 to 19 years of age.

Those who were inactive, obese or both as teens were more likely to receiv...

Setting Preschoolers on an Active Path

TUESDAY, Feb. 12, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Physical activity is closely linked to development of a child's mental skills -- ones essential to academic success and navigating challenges they'll face throughout life.

Studies show that boosts in thinking ability, or executive function, often follow bouts of activity. But only one-third of children are physically active every day. Less th...

Getting the Most Benefit From Ab Exercises

MONDAY, Feb. 11, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Men and women alike want defined abs. But you don't have to achieve a "six-pack" -- the nickname for the three most visible pairs of abdominal muscles -- to get the benefits of a stronger middle, needed to support your back.

For a study sponsored by the American Council on Exercise (ACE), scientists from the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse,...

Strengthen Your Deltoids to Help Prevent Shoulder Injuries

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 6, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Two out of every three people will experience a shoulder injury or problem at some point in their lives.

One reason: When it comes to training, the anterior, or front, deltoid muscle gets almost all the attention, while the medial and posterior deltoids get the cold shoulder.

For a study sponsored by the American Council on Exerc...

Too Much TV Raises Women's Odds for Early-Onset Colon Cancer: Study

TUESDAY, Feb. 5, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Binge-watching series after series might be fun, but too much TV could raise a middle-aged woman's odds for colon cancer, a new study finds.

Reporting Feb. 5 in JNCI Cancer Spectrum, researchers tracked data for more than 89,000 U.S. women enrolled in the Nurses' Health Study.

The investigators found 118 cases of "young-onset"...

Almost All U.S. Teens Falling Short on Sleep, Exercise

TUESDAY, Feb. 5, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Too little sleep. Not enough exercise. Far too much "screen time."

That is the unhealthy lifestyle of nearly all U.S. high school students, new research finds.

The study, of almost 60,000 teenagers nationwide, found that only 5 percent were meeting experts' recommendations on three critical health habits: sleep; exercise; and time sp...

Exercise Your Right to Fight Disease

MONDAY, Feb. 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Research consistently tells you just how important exercise is for health. It can help head off heart disease, stroke, diabetes and many types of cancer, including breast and colon cancers.

A report published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that another important prevention factor for an even wider group of cancers is havin...

Exercise Injury Prevention: Protecting Your Ankles

THURSDAY, Jan. 31, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Guarding against injury means increasing both flexibility and strength. Target the muscles that support your ankles to protect your joints by strength-training two or three times a week on alternating days and always after you've warmed up.

Start by using a resistance band to work calf muscles. Sit on the floor, with legs straight. Wrap the ...

Great Workouts Boost Brains, Even in the Young

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 30, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Heart-pumping exercise benefits the brain, improving thinking skills even in younger adults, a small study suggests.

For the study, scientists tracked more than 130 adults, aged 20 to 67. The investigators found that aerobic exercise increased participants' overall fitness as well as their so-called executive function -- thinking skills tha...

'Extreme' Exercise No Danger to Middle-Aged Hearts: Study

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 30, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Middle-aged men who partake in extreme exercise are not putting their heart health at risk, a new study contends.

Aging athletes who do eight or more hours a week of vigorous exercise have no greater risk of early death than people who work out less often, researchers found.

Extreme exercise included activities such as fast runnin...

How to Head Off Sneaky Weight Gain

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 30, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Slow and sneaky weight gain usually happens over time -- on average one pound a year -- so it's not always obvious at first, especially if you don't regularly weigh yourself.

But if this weight creep goes unnoticed year after year, by middle age, your middle may lose the sleek look you had when you were younger.

Several factors ...

Bonding With Friends -- Without Food

TUESDAY, Jan. 29, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Socializing with friends is great for physical and emotional well-being, but if all of your get-togethers are at restaurants or bars, it can be hard to stick to a healthy eating plan.

Try these ideas for having fun without placing the emphasis on food. Both you and your friends will benefit.

Turn your brunch group into an art...

Fun Moves for Better Agility

MONDAY, Jan. 28, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Agility, or the ability to react quickly to change without losing your balance, is an important skill not only for playing sports, but also for everyday living.

Strength training helps improve agility, but so do balance and coordination exercises. Simple moves include standing on one foot, standing on tiptoe and walking heel to toe.

How to Pick a Fitness Tracker That's Right for You

FRIDAY, Jan. 25, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- When it comes to monitoring physical activity, we've come a long way from pedometers that only counted steps.

Today's health trackers use sensors to monitor movement and store and analyze the data. You can track calories burned, calories consumed, your heart rate during and after exercise, and even how long you sleep. Like a personal coach, a...

Take the Stairs: An 'Exercise Snack' Can Do Wonders for Your Heart and Lungs

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 23, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Just a few exercise breaks -- or "snacks" -- a day can provide significant benefits, a new study says.

Specifically, it found that short sessions of intense stair climbing spaced throughout the day can improve heart and lung (cardiorespiratory) fitness.

"The findings make it even easier for people to incorporate 'exercise snacks'...

Body Size May Influence Longevity in Women, But Not Men

TUESDAY, Jan. 22, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Here's a new study finding that's bound to make tall, thin women happy: Their body size and their gender make it more likely they will reach the milestone age of 90 than either men or shorter, heavier women.

If these women exercised an hour a day, the longevity benefits were even greater, the Dutch scientists reported. While exercise helped m...

4 Exercises for a Better Back

TUESDAY, Jan. 22, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- To strengthen your back -- the most commonly injured part of the body -- it's important to condition both the muscles in it and the ones that support it, notably the abs.

Here are four moves to boost back fitness:

For the bird dog, start on your hands and knees. Tighten your abs and simultaneously lift your right arm and your left...

A Prescription for Feeling Young Forever

MONDAY, Jan. 21, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- You know about the value of exercise for heart health and for staying strong and independent as you age. There's also proof that exercise keeps your body young physically as well as mentally.

A British study involving cycling enthusiasts between the ages of 55 and 79 found that their physical shape and abilities rivaled those of people much y...

Diet or Exercise -- or Both?

MONDAY, Jan. 21, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- There's no doubt that an unhealthy diet and couch potato lifestyle put your health at risk, but when considering improvements, should you change one at a time or both at once?

Northwestern University researchers found that it's not only doable, but also more effective, to change unhealthy behaviors simultaneously. Different groups of study pa...

Keep Moving to Keep Brain Sharp in Old Age

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 16, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Staying active in old age may help preserve your memory and thinking skills, a new study suggests.

In fact, older people who were physically active kept their minds sharp, even if their brains showed signs of lesions or other markers linked to Alzheimer's disease or other dementias, researchers found.

"Physical activity may provi...

Heart-Healthy Living Also Wards Off Type 2 Diabetes

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 16, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- There could be an added bonus to keeping your cardiovascular health on track -- a heart-healthy lifestyle can also prevent type 2 diabetes, researchers say.

And it's better to prevent type 2 diabetes than to have to treat it, the Ohio State University researchers added.

"Healthy people need to work to stay healthy. Follow the guid...

3 Conditioning Exercises to Support Your Hips

TUESDAY, Jan. 15, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- To support your hip joints, you need to strengthen the muscles that support them. This can help prevent or relieve hip pain and guard against injury.

Appropriate exercises target muscles of the thighs and the glutes. Here are three to add to your fitness regimen.

Note: Before conditioning, always warm up with five to 10 minutes of ...

Want to Live Longer? Just Sit a Bit Less Each Day

TUESDAY, Jan. 15, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Take a stand for a longer life.

Researchers say even a few extra minutes off the sofa each day can add years to your life span.

"If you have a job or lifestyle that involves a lot of sitting, you can lower your risk of early death by moving more often, for as long as you want and as your ability allows -- whether that means taking a...

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Wellness Library Results - 78

It's a tough call, but no one would dispute that back pain ranks in the Top 10 list of a pregnant woman's gripes. According to the North American Spine Society, at least half of all women experience back pain at some point in pregnancy. An aching back is usually caused by your shifting center of gravity. The weight of your baby puts strain on your lower back, but it also may simply be the result ...

If you're having a normal, healthy pregnancy, you may want to add some low-intensity strength training and daily exercise to your regimen. Pregnancy isn't the time to take up new or strenuous sports, but with your health provider's okay, you can begin strengthening the muscles in your upper and lower body -- you're going to need them! During pregnancy, the extra weight in your belly and your brea...

Sex is an undeniably rewarding form of exercise. But if it's the only type of exercise that you get, you're probably not getting the most out of your workout. Regular exercise outside of the bedroom will do more than improve your health and mood. In many ways, it's bound to improve your sex life. Setting the mood A single good workout can prime the body for sex, says Jim Pfaus, PhD, a professo...

Ever wonder where kids get so much energy? Today's typical 5-year-old eats almost 600,000 calories each year -- that's a lot of fuel for a small body. These vast reserves of energy come in handy for games of freeze tag and neighborhood bike races. But many kids barely tap into their supply. It doesn't take many calories to watch Power Rangers, sort Pokemon cards, or play Crash Bandicoot on the Nin...

Gardening is relaxing and gratifying, but there are still things to watch out for. Here's a rundown of common gardening hazards, along with some tips to help you avoid them:

  • Stretch before you start work. Backs, shoulders, arms, and hands get the brunt of the abuse from tilling the soil all day. A good routine of stretching exercises before you begin will help to get your muscles ready an...

The next time you see one of those expensive, high-tech exercise machines advertised on TV, remember this: You can't spend your way to fitness. Sure, that gym-quality treadmill or multi-part weight contraption might look good in your spare bedroom or den. It might even be fun and motivate you to stick with a fitness routine. But in the end your success depends on you, not pricey equipment or stee...

At 104, my great-aunt Lenore Schaeffer* was a sort of living legend. She appeared in Newsweek and on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, but not only because she had outlived most of her peers and the average American. It's because she out-danced most of them too. Schaeffer was probably the oldest American competitive ballroom dancer. And she had a formidable collection of trophies and medals to show ...

Whether you've been faithful to your exercise routine during pregnancy or are looking for a safe and comfortable way to stay fit, now is the perfect time to work out in the water. You don't have to know how to swim, and you don't even have to get your hair wet to reap the benefits of water exercise. Low-impact activities like swimming don't involve a lot of bouncing, stretching, or bending your j...

Every time Delaine Wright climbs a mountain or goes speed skating, sugar pills are part of her equipment. Wright, who lives in Wakefield, Rhode Island, is a certified diabetes educator, an exercise physiologist, and a self-proclaimed "exercise nut" who happens to have type 1 diabetes. In addition to climbing and skating, she likes to work out on a trampoline and, just to keep things interesting, s...

Health experts keep droning on about diet and exercise, but are they overlooking an easier, simpler way to lose weight? What if you could burn calories and slim down without breaking a sweat? That's the promise of many "passive exercise" devices such as the Chi machine (a therapeutic massager) and the AbTronic (a muscle stimulating device). Just plug it in, strap it on, and watch the pounds melt a...

During my freshman year of college, I faithfully kept a journal. I'd never done so successfully, though I'd often tried. My writing resolve always peters out after a few weeks. This time, however, was different: This was my exercise log. It began the spring of my high school graduation. I updated it daily, sometimes more. It was a simple, spiral-bound notebook, college ruled and covered with doodl...

Shirley Poor walks more than two miles on a treadmill nearly every day -- not bad for someone attached to an oxygen tank. Poor, 65, has chronic bronchitis. And emphysema. And asthma. People would understand if she decided to take it easy. But the retired kindergarten teacher from Kissimmee, Florida, plans to put many more miles on her sneakers before she's through. Simply put, walking has restore...

When Charlie Jannings, MD, talks about the value of exercise, you have to take him seriously. After all, the man is a kickboxer. He's also the reigning male athlete of the year at the Big Sky State Games, an Olympic-style event that attracts thousands of Montanans of all ages: He won four gold medals in his age group. All in all, you could say he's fairly fit for a 75-year-old. A specialist in bo...

More people in the United States visit an orthopedic surgeon because of knee problems than for any other complaint. Knee pain results in more than 12 million visits to a doctor's office a year, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Down the road, many of these folks will end up with osteoarthritis in their damaged knee joints, facing knee replacements and other surgeries. But...

Many arthritis sufferers complain of a little stiffness in the morning. Then there's Jane Kowalski,* an 83-year-old living in Baltimore. She often woke up feeling like her joints had been dipped in cement. On some mornings, she couldn't even get out of bed without help. Now Kowalski has a new way to start the day. Instead of lying there helpless, she takes the time to stretch all of her muscles b...

Taking the spills out of sledding would be like taking away the snow. Little kids may be perfectly happy to glide down a gentle slope and ease to a stop at the bottom -- but such a run may seem tame to those with a few winters under their belts. Many older kids love the feeling of flying down a hill with no guarantee of a clean landing. Left to their own devices, they might straddle a piece of car...

Experts have discovered a cheap, powerful tool that can relieve pain, improve motion, and generally make life a little easier for people with arthritis. It's powerful enough to relieve many symptoms of both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, yet safe enough to use every other day. It's convenient and inexpensive, and when used properly, causes no unpleasant side effects. It's called a barbel...

What is athletic heart syndrome? Athletic heart syndrome is a heart condition that may occur in people who exercise or train for more than an hour a day, most days of the week. Athletic heart syndrome isn't necessarily bad for you -- if you're an athlete. And it's not what makes young athletes expire in mid-court. While it does lead to structural changes in the heart, a person with the conditio...

Can exercise help lower my blood pressure? Researchers have spent decades developing new treatments for high blood pressure, but exercise is still one of the best remedies around. A single workout can reduce blood pressure for an entire day, and regular exercise can keep the pressure down for the long run. What's more, low to moderate intensity training appears to be as beneficial -- if not more ...

Some people have strong, flexible back muscles. Others have muscles that could best be described as weak and stiff. Can you guess who's more likely to end up in agony after taking out the trash? While anyone can suffer from back pain, people who get regular exercise have a distinct advantage over everyone else. The strength and flexibility that comes from exercising regularly offers powerful prot...

What is a stress test? There's nothing like a good workout to find out how fit you really are. You may feel like a champion in your armchair fantasies, but playing a set of tennis can tell a different story. Likewise, you don't know how well your heart is working until you put it to the test. Almost everybody's heart beats in the same monotonous rhythm when they're resting. But during exercise, s...

If you're suffering from pain, you have an extra reason to be active. No matter what type of pain you have or where you hurt, the right type of exercise just might bring some relief. Scientists are still trying to understand all of the ways that exercise influences pain, but it's already clear that regular exercise should be a part of any comprehensive plan to bring pain under control. Arthritis ...

How fast should my heart be beating? If you're an adult, your heart should beat somewhere between 50 and 90 times per minute when you're resting, regardless of your age or sex. If you're a super-fit athlete, your heartbeat may be as low as 40 or 50 beats per minute. If you're overweight, if you're a smoker, or if you have high blood pressure, your heart rate may be a little on the fast side. How...

You never forget how to ride a bike. But if you're like many adults, you might need a refresher course in bike safety. Perhaps you're pulling that ten-speed out of storage for the first time in years. Perhaps a recent wreck or close call has made you suddenly aware of the hazards of the road. Or maybe you're teaching your kid how to ride a bike and suddenly want to set a good example. Whatever you...

How can I protect myself from sports injuries? You faithfully wear your goggles on the racquetball court, you never go in-line skating without your pads and helmet, and you stretch like a fanatic, yet you still get sidelined by injuries. What's going on? Although safety precautions are indispensable, there's more to staying injury-free than avoiding flying projectiles and cushioning your falls. ...

As you approach menopause, your ovaries begin to secrete less estrogen. The decline in your natural supply of this hormone puts you at increased risk for heart disease and osteoporosis -- which leads to brittle bones. Getting plenty of aerobic exercise can help ward off heart problems by keeping your ticker in shape and by lowering your blood pressure, improving your circulation, and helping you k...

Your job leaves you frazzled, your bank account is shrinking, and the paper is full of bad news. Rather than breaking into an (unhealthy) sweat, why not try smacking a tennis ball, going dancing, or taking a long walk? Exercise won't make stress disappear, but it can prepare your mind and body to deal with life's difficulties. In fact, many doctors are prescribing exercise to battle stress as well...

What's the difference between a strain and a sprain? Both strains and sprains are injuries caused by over-stretching. The muscles, tendons, and ligaments in your body are all elastic tissues, made for stretching to a point. Past that point, the tissue breaks. Both types of injuries can cause sharp and immediate pain. A strain is damage to a muscle or the tendon that links muscle to bone. The mos...

I love to jog. But lately, as I trot along, sometimes my shins feel like they're splintering and my knees ache. The pain is usually worse the next day. I've tried everything. I've bought shoes with high-tech insoles. I've jogged on grass. I've even attempted a low-impact shuffle that earns me some weird looks on the jogging trail. Nothing works. My legs still protest. One day, a disturbing though...

At a time when regular exercise among Americans seems to be at an all-time low, those who take the time to work out have reason to be proud. When exercise leads to a strain, sprain, or overuse injury, the pain is not only physical but psychological. Though it's easy to start feeling down when you can't invigorate yourself with your usual walk, run, or swim, don't fall into the "Why me?" trap. Inst...

What is cardio kickboxing? All the rage at fitness centers around the country, this workout borrows moves from the Thai sport of kickboxing to make participants work up a sweat. A typical hour-long class will take place in the center's aerobics studio. With everyone facing the mirror, a teacher leads the group through specific punches and kicks, usually to the beat of dance-club music. The moves ...

Not surprisingly, people living in Boulder, Colorado, have access to some pretty decent rocks. Climbers come from all around to scale the famous Flatirons and other stretches of sandstone or granite in this part of the Rockies. But the mountains aren't the only game in town. In recent years, many serious -- and not so serious -- rock climbers have taken their sport to the great indoors. Climbing ...

How can I make myself exercise when I'm so tired all the time? Start out slowly. If you haven't been active in awhile, see your doctor before starting an exercise program. Then try just walking for a few minutes each day. In the beginning you may find that you're tired after a workout or that you have to force yourself to take a walk even though you'd rather take a nap. But if you can stick with ...

How effective is exercise in relieving PMS symptoms? The jury is still out. A few small studies have found that regular exercise can ease some of the pain and stress that you may have each month during the week or two leading up to your period. In one trial, researchers at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver had eight previously sedentary women work up to running 12 miles per week ove...

How important is exercise for my heart? You may not care about increasing your strength. "Firm, sexy abs" may be the last thing on your mind. Fine. But even if you don't know your biceps from your bicuspids, there's one muscle you should never ignore: your heart. Other muscles just get small and flabby when they aren't used. Your heart, on the other hand, might stop working. According to the Ame...

When a young soccer player has a wheezing fit on the field, you can bet there's an extremely worried parent on the sidelines. What can a parent do when a child's favorite sport sets off asthma attacks? The natural reaction may be to pull him off the team and have him do something safer, like play video games. After all, no parent wants to hear a child wheeze and gasp. But before you make your ch...

Cancer can happen to anyone. Still, a healthy lifestyle can definitely help push the odds in your favor. According to the Institute for Cancer Research, between 30 to 40 percent of all cancers are linked to poor diet and a lack of physical activity. If you've already made a pledge to avoid cigarettes, getting the right blend of nutrition and exercise is the next best thing you can do to avoid canc...

Why should I be concerned about diabetes? In the United States, type 2 diabetes (formerly called adult-onset diabetes) is reaching epidemic proportions. It has even reached an alarming number of teenagers and young adults, a group that seemed practically immune to the disease just a few decades ago. There's no mystery behind this increase in incidence. Scientists don't need to explore various the...

Do I need different pairs of shoes to play tennis, run, and do aerobics? While it will do some damage to your bank account, you need a sport-specific pair of shoes for any activity you do more than three times a week. Otherwise you risk injury and may hamper your performance. A running shoe, for example, provides extra cushioning and has a more durable outsole (the bottom of a shoe) than an aerobi...

What's a good running shoe for me? That depends on your foot type and running motion. If you're flat-footed, your feet probably also pronate -- that is, roll too far inward when they hit the ground. If you have a high, rigid arch, they're likely to supinate, or roll outward when they hit the ground. And if you have a medium arch, they probably come down normally without rolling much either way. It...

The term "shin splints" means different things to different people. In the broadest sense, it refers to any pain in the shins that flares up during exercise. The pain often comes from inflammation in the tendons, the cords that attach bone to muscle. Another common culprit: tiny stress fractures in the leg bone (tibia), which occur as the soft tissues pull away from the shin as a result of overuse...

The shoulder is the most flexible joint in your body. You take advantage of that flexibility every time you scratch your back, throw a ball, or stretch to reach the top shelf in the kitchen cabinets. Healthy shoulder joints allow you to move your arm into all sorts of positions, but this flexibility comes with a price: It's easy to push the joint farther than it should go, resulting in a strain, t...

What are anabolic steroids? Anabolic steroids are a class of synthetic drugs that closely mimic male sex hormones such as testosterone. They can be taken orally, applied as a patch, spread on the skin in cream or gel form, or injected. The term "anabolic" means the drugs can build muscles -- often at unusual speed. Doctors frequently prescribe the drugs to AIDS patients and other people who are l...

How can seniors benefit from aerobic exercise? Like virtue, exercise is its own reward -- and it can help you feel as strong as you did when John F. Kennedy was president. Lifting weights is an excellent way to roll back the years, but the cornerstone of most senior fitness programs is aerobic exercise. Anything that gets oxygen into your system and works your lungs and heart -- whether it's walk...

Now that you're older, you may not spend much time flexing in front of the mirror or trying to add inches to your vertical leap. So why bother lifting weights? The truth is that building your muscles is more important than ever at this stage of life. Muscles tend to weaken with age, and this decline can eventually rob seniors of their active, independent lifestyles. Fortunately, you can reverse th...

What is "andro"? Short for androstenedione, andro is a hormone that became a star in the bodybuilding supplement industry in the nineties. The substance, a natural forerunner of both testosterone and estrogen, made headlines in 1998 when a reporter saw a bottle of the stuff in the locker of baseball star Mark McGwire. Encouraged by wild claims that andro could boost their testosterone levels by a...

What is creatine? Creatine is a natural compound that works like a gas pump for your muscles. The fuel from which muscle cells draw energy is a molecule called adenosine triphosphate (ATP), and creatine helps cells make new ATP to keep your tank from running low. Your kidneys, liver, and pancreas make about 1 to 2 grams of creatine every day, and most people get about that much daily from meat or...

Exercise has long been known to strengthen bones. But even if you already have osteoporosis, exercise can be good medicine. You may not realize it, but the health of your bones is closely linked to your workouts and daily habits. If your bones sense that you're active, they'll soak up extra minerals to give you the support that you need. But if you don't get enough exercise, your bones will start ...

If you're a regular runner, you probably have fond memories of your early training days. You may have begun with an easy walk-run schedule. In a few weeks you finally built up to your first all-running mile. Then came your first 5K, then your first 5-mile or even 10K, and perhaps your first road race. Those were heady times, filled with thrills of meeting ever higher goals. Now, though, you've se...

Walking is the most popular form of exercise in the United States. It's convenient (you can do it anywhere). It's inexpensive (the only investment you have to make is a pair of shoes). And it requires no special skills. Walking might not feel like a workout, but the health benefits can be huge. Circle the answers on this true-false quiz to find out how to walk your way to fitness. 1. Walking is ...

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