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Health News Results - 473

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...

Make Cancer Prevention a Priority in 2019

FRIDAY, Jan. 11, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- If one of your resolutions for 2019 is to improve your health, reducing your risk of cancer should be part of that goal, a cancer expert says.

While cancer risk factors such as family history and aging can't be controlled, lifestyle changes such as eating right, staying active and not smoking can lower your risk, said Dr. Elias Obeid. He is di...

Even a Little Exercise May Help Cancer Patients Live Longer

THURSDAY, Jan. 10, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Regular exercise before and after a cancer diagnosis significantly improves odds of survival, a new study finds.

Among more than 5,800 U.S. patients with a range of early- to late-stage cancers, those who exercised three or four times a week before and after their diagnosis had a 40 percent lower risk of death than inactive patients, researc...

Take a Stand Against Too Much Sitting at Work

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 9, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- We know that the amount of sitting Americans do is now considered a health threat. Researchers estimate that the average adult spends more than 8 hours a day being sedentary, and it's not just all that time spent in front of the TV.

If you have a desk job and get home too exhausted to do more than plop on the sofa, that number can double.

Creating a Home Gym on the Cheap

TUESDAY, Jan. 8, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- A state-of-the-art home gym might not just be beyond the scope of your budget, it also might be beyond the scope of available space. But don't rule out this convenient fitness option so fast.

According to the American Council on Exercise, if you can clear a 6-foot by 6-foot area for working out, you can outfit a home gym with the basics for un...

AHA: Could Phosphate Additives in Foods Make You Less Active?

MONDAY, Jan. 7, 2019 (American Heart Association) -- A new study suggests that high levels of inorganic phosphate -- a preservative widely used in certain sodas, packaged meats and other processed foods -- may be a reason why the U.S. population isn't as physically active as it used to be.

Researchers from UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas looked at the effect of phosphate on ...

Working Out Your Exercise Schedule

FRIDAY, Jan. 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The number of weekly recommended workout sessions can really add up.

With five or more periods of cardio, and two or three each of strength training, flexibility and motor skills for balance and agility, it's inevitable that you'll need to do more than one type of exercise on any given day.

To make the most of every session, know the ...

Ring in the New Year Resolved to Improve Your Health

FRIDAY, Dec. 28, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- If you're thinking about making some health-related resolutions for 2019, the American Medical Association (AMA) has some suggestions.

"This is the perfect time of year for each of us to consider our personal goals, and how we can make positive health choices in the coming year," said AMA President Dr. Barbara McAneny.

"We encourage...

Dial Down the Stress

FRIDAY, Dec. 28, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Stress and uncertainty plague many Americans, but there are a number of steps you can take to cope, a psychiatrist suggests.

"In this day and age of 'digital' perfection, the stress of daily living can take a toll on our health, causing anxiety and depression, leading to relationship difficulties, problems at work, and the feeling that you hav...

A New Mom Shape-Up: Stroller Walking

MONDAY, Dec. 24, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- The exhaustion of a new baby can have negative fitness consequences as you lose the motivation to exercise and feel there's no time to get to the gym.

But not exercising actually worsens fatigue, makes it harder to lose your baby weight, and increases the risk of chronic health problems down the road.

Don't fret, though: There's a po...

Cross-Training for Fitness and Fun

FRIDAY, Dec. 21, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- If you're not yet familiar with the fitness approach called cross-training, it might sound like hard work. But it's really just a way to add variety to your exercise routine by alternating activities.

You'll avoid boredom and boost your fitness level as well as protect against overuse injuries, which are more common when you do a single workou...

That Gift of Exercise Might Go to Waste

THURSDAY, Dec. 20, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- You might think the perfect gift for someone you love is a gym membership or a subscription to a healthy food plan, but you need to make sure the recipient will make use of them.

"As much as we may want to, we can't change people who are not ready to make changes in their own life," said Kara Shifler Bowers, a registered dietitian and a proj...

Just 6 Months of Walking May Boost Aging Brains

THURSDAY, Dec. 20, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Walking and other types of moderate exercise may help turn back the clock for older adults who are losing their mental sharpness, a new clinical trial finds.

The study focused on older adults who had milder problems with memory and thinking skills. The researchers found that six months of moderate exercise -- walking or pedaling a stationary...

Ballet Class: Not Just Child's Play Anymore

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 19, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Ballet dancers are known for their sleek, sculpted look, in part the result of hours spent exercising at the ballet barre.

While not everyone can dance the Nutcracker or Swan Lake, classes in "barre" are now widely available and wildly popular. Some follow classical training, which is often slow and methodical, while others are inspired by ...

Take High Blood Pressure Meds? Exercise Might Work Just as Well

TUESDAY, Dec. 18, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- If you have high blood pressure, hitting the gym may be as helpful as taking drugs to lower your numbers, researchers say.

There's "compelling evidence that combining endurance and dynamic resistance training was effective in reducing [blood pressure]," according to the authors of a new report.

The British researchers stressed that ...

Take It Outside! The Benefits of Exercising Outdoors

TUESDAY, Dec. 18, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- If you've ever come home from a brisk walk feeling reinvigorated, you're not alone. Research shows that this is just one of many benefits of exercising outdoors.

Working out in a natural environment can also be more physically challenging, making your body work harder and bringing greater fitness results. This happens when, for instance, you'...

The Right Way to Fuel Up Before Workouts

THURSDAY, Dec. 13, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Mom was right when she said no swimming for an hour after lunch. Even though it takes energy to work out, it's important that exercise doesn't interfere with digestion.

Like Goldilocks, you need just the right amount of food. Eat too much and you might feel sluggish rather than energized. Eat too little, and you may not have the stamina to w...

Surmounting That Fitness Plateau

THURSDAY, Dec. 13, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Just as there are diet plateaus, you can hit the wall with exercise, too -- no longer seeing results from your efforts and then losing motivation.

According to the experts at the American Council on Exercise, a plateau is often a sign that your body has adapted to the specific workout you're doing and needs a new stimulus to move to the next...

Increase the Calories You Burn When Walking

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 12, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Walking is not only a great first exercise, it can also be a forever exercise.

Here are some ideas to show you how to take it to the next level.

Making walking more of a challenge enables you to burn more calories and raise your working heart rate. You can do this by working out on a treadmill with an incline setting and wearing a...

AHA: Exercise After Heart Attack May Improve Survival

TUESDAY, Dec. 11, 2018 (American Heart Association) -- Exercising after a heart attack, even a long walk around the neighborhood, can be frightening for survivors. But those fears may be eased by new research that found regular physical activity could help keep them alive.

Many heart attack survivors initially worry that exercise or any type of prolonged activity that increases thei...

Healthy Lifestyle Lowers Odds of Breast Cancer's Return

FRIDAY, Dec. 7, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- There's more evidence that when a survivor of early stage breast cancer takes up healthy eating and regular exercise, the odds of the disease returning go down.

The key is sticking with such programs, said study lead author Dr. Wolfgang Janni.

Healthier lifestyles "might improve the prognosis of breast cancer patients if adherence is ...

Safety First When Running Outdoors

FRIDAY, Dec. 7, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Between the fresh air and the interesting scenery, running outdoors can be invigorating. But there are safety precautions to take when you leave a protected indoor environment.

The Road Runners Club of America has a wealth of advice.

For starters, take some precautions before you leave home. First, tell loved ones where you'll be runn...

Marathons Can Tax Amateurs' Hearts

MONDAY, Dec. 3, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- While completing a full marathon is a goal for many amateur runners, new research shows a shorter endurance race might put less strain on the heart.

To gauge stress on the heart among 63 amateur runners after they had run either a full marathon, a half marathon or a 10-kilometer race, the researchers assessed levels of certain proteins that ar...

What Couch Potatoes Don't Know Can Hurt Them

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 28, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- The fastest way to get a sedentary person moving is to tell them the specific health dangers of inactivity, a new report suggests.

For the study, researchers surveyed 615 Australian adults, aged 18 to 77, about their levels of physical activity, as well as their knowledge about the benefits of exercise and the dangers of being a couch potat...

Only Endurance Exercise May Slow Aging

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 28, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Running, swimming, cycling and other types of endurance exercise can slow cellular aging, but strength training may not, a new study suggests.

Researchers looked at how different types of exercise affected telomeres in 124 inactive, young, healthy adults.

Telomeres are protective caps on the ends of chromosomes. As you age, telome...

Just a Little Weightlifting Can Help Your Heart

TUESDAY, Nov. 27, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- An hour or less of weightlifting each week might significantly cut your risk of heart attack or stroke, new research suggests.

Evaluating nearly 12,600 adults over more than a decade, scientists found that small amounts of resistance exercise weekly were linked to between 40 percent and 70 percent fewer cardiovascular events.

But do...

Brain Changes Seen in MRIs of Young Football Players

MONDAY, Nov. 26, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- High-impact hits may affect the brain development of children and teens after just one season of football, preliminary research suggests.

The study compared functional MRI scans taken pre- and post-season. The researchers saw more gray matter volume in those who had high-impact hits -- but no concussions -- over the season.

More g...

6 Common Gym Mistakes to Avoid

MONDAY, Nov. 26, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Once you've taken all the right steps to find a gym suited to your needs, avoiding some common mistakes will ensure maximum results for the time spent working out.

First, don't just congratulate yourself for joining a gym -- you actually have to go. It's easier to stick to a schedule when you ink it in your calendar. Even if you can get there ...

What You Can Do to Prevent Diabetes

FRIDAY, Nov. 23, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Type 2 diabetes has reached alarming numbers in the United States. But you can prevent or delay it through healthy eating and active living, an expert suggests.

Diabetes affects more than 30 million Americans, and type 2 is the most common form. As many as one-third of Americans have prediabetes, but most don't know it, according to the Americ...

Finding the Right Number of 'Reps' When Strength Training

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 21, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- When you first start strength training, almost any weight you lift will bring some results.

But also use this time to learn proper form, the American College of Sports Medicine advises. As you progress, you can zero in on the best amount of weight as well as the number of repetitions and sets of repetitions you do.

A general start...

1 in 4 U.S. Adults Sits More Than 8 Hours a Day

TUESDAY, Nov. 20, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Couch Potato Nation: Nearly half of Americans sit for far too many hours a day and don't get any exercise at all, a new study finds.

A survey of some 5,900 adults found that nearly 26 percent sit for more than eight hours a day, 45 percent don't get any moderate or vigorous exercise during the week, and about 11 percent sit more than eight h...

Women as Tough as Men During Extreme Exertion

TUESDAY, Nov. 20, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Women are no more likely than men to have health problems due to strenuous training and extreme physical exertion, researchers report.

"Our findings contain some potentially myth-busting data on the impact of extreme physical activity on women. We have shown that with appropriate training and preparation, many of t...

Selecting the Right Style of Yoga for You

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 14, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Yoga has many benefits, from increasing flexibility to reducing stress.

The practice offers so much because of its multi-dimensional nature. In addition to its fluid exercises, called asanas or poses, it focuses on correct breathing, posture and meditation with a philosophy that strives for a balance of body, mind and spirit.

Ther...

Exercise Makes Even the 'Still Overweight' Healthier: Study

TUESDAY, Nov. 13, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Heavyset folks who exercise regularly shouldn't get discouraged if they can't seem to shed more weight, no matter how hard they try.

A new study suggests that their regular workouts are still contributing to better overall heart health, making them "fat but fit" and helping them live longer.

People who are obese-but-fit have lower r...

Even a 2-Minute Walk Counts in New Physical Activity Guidelines

MONDAY, Nov. 12, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Take the stairs up to your office. Park a little further away from the grocery store. Walk your dog around the block. Carry out the trash.

Any amount of physical activity -- even two minutes' worth -- can add up to huge benefits for your immediate and long-term health, according to the new edition of the U.S. Physical Activity Guidelines for A...

Tennis Elbow 'Treatments' Bring Little Relief: Study

THURSDAY, Nov. 8, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Treatments for "tennis elbow" are generally ineffective, researchers say, but don't despair: The painful condition will usually clear up on its own.

Each year, approximately 200,000 Americans are diagnosed with tennis elbow -- inflammation caused by overuse of the tendons in the forearm. The condition can affect anyone who uses their hands a...

Jump Into Plyometrics -- the Exercises to Power Muscles

THURSDAY, Nov. 8, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Plyometrics isn't a new technique, but it's getting renewed attention because of its value as a training tool, the American Council on Exercise explains.

Its original name, jump training, describes its focus. Movements are similar to those used in downhill skiing, basketball and even tennis. So it's a great way to train for those sports, but ...

Get the Most From Your Cardio Workouts

FRIDAY, Nov. 2, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- You've made the decision to meet the 150-minutes-per-week goal of cardio workouts for better health. Now use these tips to make the most of these workouts.

If you're using a machine, like a treadmill or stationary bike, check that you're maintaining proper form. Just as coasting when riding a bike outdoors doesn't provide a workout, resting you...

An Expert's Guide to Avoiding Back Pain

THURSDAY, Oct. 25, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Back pain is a common problem in the United States, but there are ways to protect yourself, an expert says.

"The back is a complex structure with many delicate parts, but with good judgment and healthy lifestyle habits -- including proper lifting, good posture and exercise -- it's possible to avoid common back pain caused by strained muscles...

New Research Offers Insights Into Football-Related Concussions

THURSDAY, Oct. 25, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Repeated hits to the head, rather than one severe blow, may determine whether football players suffer a concussion, a new study suggests.

The findings underscore the need to limit head impacts during football practice and games, said study lead author Brian Stemper, of Marquette University and Medical College of Wisconsin.

Stemper'...

Need Your Botox Working Faster? Make a Face

THURSDAY, Oct. 25, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Have a big social event tomorrow night and need "emergency Botox"? A new study finds that if you get the wrinkle-relaxing shots today, you can speed up the effect by making faces.

Simple facial exercises can speed the wrinkle-smoothing effects of botulinum toxin (Botox), according to researchers from Northwestern University in Chicago.

...

Does Stroke Run in Your Family? Healthy Living Lowers the Risk

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 24, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Has stroke hit your family particularly hard? A healthy lifestyle may be your best defense, new research shows.

The study of more than 306,000 white British people found that exercising, eating right and not smoking lowered stroke risk -- even for those whose DNA predisposed them to the attacks.

The findings "highlight the pote...

Warmer Weather Gets Seniors Outdoors and Moving

TUESDAY, Oct. 23, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- The better the weather, the more seniors venture out and get active.

So say researchers who assessed the activity levels of more than 1,200 adults in Norway, aged 70 to 77, who were grouped based on whether they scored low, medium or high on a fitness test.

"Older people in poor physical condition become less physically active if th...

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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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