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Health News Results - 1244

Exercising With Rheumatoid Arthritis

THURSDAY, Sept. 20, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Different from osteoarthritis, which is the wear-and-tear breakdown of joint cartilage experienced over time, rheumatoid arthritis, or RA, is an autoimmune disease that causes both pain and intense fatigue.

When you're in the throes of a flare, exercise may seem like mission impossible and you might be advised to rest until it passes. But e...

Fitter Folks Suffer Milder Strokes: Study

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 19, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- It's well-known that regular exercise can help cut your risk for a stroke. Now, new research shows fitness may have an added bonus, cutting the severity of a stroke should one occur.

So finds a study of more than 900 stroke survivors. It found that fitter people were twice as likely as sedentary folk to have a mild stroke rather than a seve...

Slaying the Couch-Potato Mindset

MONDAY, Sept. 17, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- There's no shortage of creative excuses people come up with to stay stuck on the sofa, but three of them top the list.

Here's how to hurdle the obstacles standing between you and getting in shape.

"I'm too tired to exercise." Being too tired to work out is a common theme among procrastinators. And while it sounds counter-intuitive, ...

AHA: Get Your (Exer)game On to Make Screen Time Pay Off

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 12, 2018 (American Heart Association) -- Parents, can't seem to tear the kids away from their screens? There are ways you won't have to -- and still get them off the couch.

Exergaming allows players to engage in physical activity while also participating in video games -- using a video camera, an infrared sensor or other technology that tracks their movements while ...

Obesity Tops 35 Percent in 7 U.S. States: Report

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 12, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Americans continue to fatten up, with obesity rates topping 35 percent in seven states, a new report reveals.

That's up from five states two years ago. Moreover, no state had a notable improvement in its obesity rate over the previous year, according to the report from Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, both...

Exercise Doesn't Affect Timing of Menopause, Study Finds

FRIDAY, Sept. 7, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- New research seems to settle the question of whether there's a link between how much a woman works out and her risk of early menopause.

The conclusion? There is no link.

Previous studies have produced conflicting results, with some suggesting that very active women may be at lower risk of menopause before the age of 45, while other r...

'Million Hearts' Project Aims to Prevent 1 Million Cardiac Crises

THURSDAY, Sept. 6, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Millions of Americans aren't taking simple steps that could ward off a potentially fatal heart attack or stroke, a new government report shows.

Heart attacks, strokes and other heart-related conditions caused 2.2 million hospitalizations in 2016, new research from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found.

Many of t...

Exercise May Boost Brain Power in Alzheimer's, Mouse Study Suggests

THURSDAY, Sept. 6, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- There are plenty of reasons to work out, and this may be another: Exercise promotes the growth of new brain cells that improve thinking in mice with a form of Alzheimer's disease, a new study finds.

Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) researchers reported that it may be possible to develop drug and gene therapies that trigger the same benef...

Walking: Still the Starting Line for Fitness

THURSDAY, Sept. 6, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Being physically active is one of the most important steps people of all ages can take to improve their health.

Yet despite everything we know about the benefits of exercise, only half of U.S. adults and only about a quarter of high school students get the amount recommended in national guidelines.

If you haven't gotten onboard wit...

Over 1.4 Billion of World's Adults Face Disease Because of Inactivity, WHO Says

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 5, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Couch potatoes, take note: Sedentary living has put more than one quarter of the world's adults at risk for serious disease, a new study says.

More than 1.4 billion adults face a higher risk for heart disease, diabetes, dementia and certain types of cancer because they get too little physical activity, World Health Organization (WHO) resear...

Working Workouts Into Your Life

TUESDAY, Sept. 4, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Weekly fitness guidelines can seem like a laundry list of to-do's that you just can't get done -- 30 minutes of cardio at least five days, resistance training two or three days, and at least two flexibility sessions … each and every week.

Yet each type of exercise does the body good, so it's important to find ways to meet these goals.<...

Low Back Pain? These Exercises May Help

THURSDAY, Aug. 30, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Low back pain is a common health complaint. And if it sidelines you for too long, it can lead to weight gain, a loss in your fitness level and keep you from doing things you love.

But not moving isn't the answer -- specific exercises can help you get back to everyday activities. If you're under the care of an orthopedist or physical therapis...

AHA: It Takes More Than a Bribe to Get Some People to Exercise

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 29, 2018 (American Heart Association) -- Getting people to exercise isn't as easy as dangling money in front of them like a carrot in front of a hungry horse. It turns out it's better to show them the money, and then threaten to take it away.

As obesity rates rise and physical activity decreases in this sedentary age of binge-watching and being glued to a computer at ...

Exercising on an Empty Stomach: Good Idea or Not?

THURSDAY, Aug. 23, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- It's an age-old question, whether it's better to exercise before or after eating.

Research done in the United Kingdom might provide the impetus for some people: According to a small study, exercise burns more body fat when you do it on an empty stomach.

The research compared the effects of exercising after eating breakfast to exerc...

When Kids Focus on 1 Sport, Overuse Injuries Rise

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 22, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Young athletes specializing in one sport may hope it's a ticket to an athletic scholarship in college, but a new analysis suggests the practice might also doom them to overuse injuries.

Pulling data from five prior studies, scientists found that athletes aged 18 and younger who concentrated on a single sport were nearly two times more like...

Stressed at Work? Open Office Plan Might Help

MONDAY, Aug. 20, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Maybe it's time to retire the office cubicle.

A new study suggests that open workspaces without partitions between desks encourage employees to be more active and help curb stress.

"We are becoming an increasingly sedentary workforce, and anything that we can do, even passively, to nudge physical activity up will have enormous bene...

Eating Before Early Workout Helps Burn Carbs

FRIDAY, Aug. 17, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- If you exercise in the morning, it may be a good idea to eat breakfast first.

A small British study finds that having breakfast before a morning workout triggers the body to burn more carbohydrates during exercise and also speeds digestion afterward.

The study included 12 healthy men who did an hour of cycling in the morning. They ei...

Maybe It's Time to Get in the Game

FRIDAY, Aug. 17, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Team sports aren't just for kids. They offer adults a wealth of benefits, including a greater feeling of well-being, reduced stress and a strong sense of community.

You have many options for finding an adult club or team-based sport in your area. Your local park and rec department or "Y" might sponsor such activities. The World Adult Kickball ...

Rehydration: How Much Is Too Much?

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 15, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Staying hydrated is a mantra not only when exercising, but throughout the day for optimal health.

Yet it's possible to get too much of a good thing.

In recent years, a number of athletes have died from a condition called exercise-associated hyponatremia, or EAH, which results from overwhelming the kidneys with excess fluid and ups...

Lack of Exercise Can Boost Cancer Risk

MONDAY, Aug. 13, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Few Americans know that inactivity can increase the risk of colon, breast and other types of cancer, a new study finds.

An analysis of survey responses from 351 people revealed that while many knew a sedentary lifestyle increased their risk of heart disease (63.5 percent) and metabolic problems such as diabetes (65.8 percent), only 3.4 percent...

Need to Lose Weight? Team Up With Friends

MONDAY, Aug. 13, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers have found that having friends who gain weight -- especially friends of the same gender -- raises your chance of becoming overweight by more than 50 percent. That's far more than if your spouse gains weight.

But they've also found that the same type of social influence can help you lose weight. In fact, sharing a fitness goal throu...

A Weak Grip May Signal Future Health Trouble -- Even in Kids

MONDAY, Aug. 13, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Weak grip strength in children may point to a higher risk of such health problems as diabetes and heart disease, new research suggests.

In a new study that followed children from 4th grade through 5th grade, a grip-strength test was given to the students at the start of the study. The researchers said that nearly 28 percent of the boys and 20...

Working Out After Baby

FRIDAY, Aug. 10, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Losing weight about 6 months after giving birth lowers a woman's risk of being overweight in the future.

The best strategy to get back to pre-baby weight is a combination of diet and exercise, rather than diet alone. That's because exercise boosts heart health and helps preserve muscle when you're limiting calorie intake. It also takes more ca...

Here's What Makes Seniors Feel and Act Younger

FRIDAY, Aug. 10, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- A pair of new studies points towards two potential paths to the fountain of youth.

When older adults feel more control of their lives and get more exercise, they feel younger -- and that improves their thinking, overall quality of life and longevity, the studies say.

One study included 116 older adults (ages 60 to 90) and 106 younge...

Exercise Really Can Chase Away the Blues … to a Point

THURSDAY, Aug. 9, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Exercise is good for your mental health, as long as you don't overdo it, researchers say.

An analysis of data from 1.2 million people in the United States found they reported 3.4 days a month of poor mental health on average. But those who were physically active had 1.5 fewer "down" days a month than those who were not active.

Being...

For Seniors, Getting Physical Protects the Heart

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 8, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- If you're in your early 60s, becoming more active may reduce your risk of heart disease, researchers report.

That's especially true for women, they added.

"The 60 to 64 age range represents an important transition between work and retirement, when lifestyle behaviors tend to change. It may, therefore, be an opportunity to promote i...

Just 2 Weeks' Inactivity Can Trigger Diabetes in at-Risk Seniors: Study

MONDAY, Aug. 6, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- A short stretch of inactivity can unlease diabetes in older adults at risk for the blood-sugar disease, a new study finds.

For the study, overweight patients with prediabetes were asked to reduce their daily steps to no more than 1,000 a day for two weeks.

This short stretch of reduced activity led to elevated blood sugar levels and s...

Why Seniors Can Struggle With Swallowing

FRIDAY, Aug. 3, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- If you have developed swallowing problems as you age, a new study may explain why.

A loss of muscle mass and function in the throat helps explain why 15 percent of seniors have difficulty swallowing (dysphagia), researchers have found.

"Dysphagia has serious consequences for health and quality of life," said study author Sonja Molfen...

Scientists Trace Link Between Head Injuries and Parkinson's

FRIDAY, Aug. 3, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Links between brain damage and contact sports continue to emerge, with scientists now tying repetitive head impacts to a condition that can lead to Parkinson's disease.

Researchers have already tied repetitive head impacts with the brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and dementia. Now, investigators who examined 694 brains afte...

How Much Daily Exercise Do You Really Need?

THURSDAY, Aug. 2, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Hopefully, you enjoy exercising and don't watch the clock, impatient for it to be over.

But it's important to know how much exercise you're getting so you can reap all its health rewards.

Between the ages of 18 and 64, barring any medical restrictions, the weekly goal is at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio (aerobic) ex...

'Heading' a Soccer Ball More Dangerous for Women: Study

TUESDAY, July 31, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Heading soccer balls poses a much greater threat to women's brains than men's, new research suggests.

The study included 49 female and 49 male amateur soccer players, aged 18 to 50. They reported a similar number of headings over the previous year (an average of 487 headings for the men and 469 for the women).

Brain scans revealed t...

Gyms With Tanning Beds Send Mixed Message

FRIDAY, July 27, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Gym rats are trying to get healthy. So why do so many U.S. gyms have tanning beds, researchers want to know.

Since indoor tanning raises the risk of skin cancer, this common combo sends a conflicting message to gym users, University of Connecticut researchers say.

"By pairing exercise with tanning beds, gyms send the message that tan...

3-Pronged Approach to Cancer Prevention

THURSDAY, July 26, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Need another reason to improve your diet and start exercising? Doing so could help ward off cancer, a new study finds.

"Keep in mind that every lifestyle factor counts and it is never too late to adopt a healthy lifestyle," said study co-author Bernard Srour, of the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research.

Eating h...

5 Ways to Push Yourself to Stay Fit

MONDAY, July 23, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Continually progressing keeps exercise interesting and further increases your fitness level.

Here are five fun ideas to keep challenging yourself.

Identify an area of weakness, like a muscle group you want to tone or a fitness skill you'd like to have. You might assess your level of each of the key components of fitness -- cardio en...

Selecting a Personal Trainer

THURSDAY, July 19, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- A personal trainer can design an exercise program to meet your fitness goals, keep you motivated and adapt your training as you progress.

But your first step is finding a qualified professional.

While there aren't any national standards or minimum requirements for someone to call themselves a personal trainer, asking the right ques...

Does Dirty Air Cancel Out the Benefits of Exercise?

WEDNESDAY, July 18, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Everyone knows that exercise is good for your heart, but what if your only option is to run or walk through smoggy city streets? Does it still pay off in the long run?

Yes, contends a nearly 20-year study.

"Air pollution isn't an excuse to skip exercise. Even in areas with pollution, exercise still helps," said Dr. Peter Mercurio....

On-the-Job Stress Relief

MONDAY, July 16, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- You've probably heard the health warning: Sitting is the new smoking.

The importance of getting up and walking to prevent serious health issues when you sit at a desk all day long has gotten a lot of attention recently.

Those health risks include increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess weight and high cholesterol levels, ...

Half of Americans Trying to Slim Down

THURSDAY, July 12, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- In a country where four out of 10 adults are obese, it's probably good news that half of U.S. adults say they've recently tried to shed some pounds.

They did this most often through exercise, cutting calories and eating their fruits and veggies, according to a new government survey that tracked Americans' weight-loss attempts between 2013 an...

Free Weights or Machines?

THURSDAY, July 12, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Resistance or strength training isn't just for bodybuilders -- it's for everyone, and it's essential to combat the natural tendency to lose muscle mass with age.

It also helps prevent bone loss and lowers body fat, blood pressure and cholesterol.

You can strengthen muscles with everything from resistance bands to heavy soup cans. B...

'Heading' Soccer Balls May Be Bad for Balance

WEDNESDAY, July 11, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Balance problems may be more common in soccer players who "head" the ball more often than their fellow athletes, a small study found.

The study included 20 soccer players, average age 22, who were given a balance test. The players also provided information about how often they headed the ball during games and practices.

The number...

Quitting Smoking? Even a Little Exercise Can Help You Stay Slim

WEDNESDAY, July 11, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Fear of weight gain can keep many smokers from kicking the habit.

But a new study involving older women might help change that: It found that for those who quit, even a bit of exercise helped keep the pounds at bay.

"Being active after quitting smoking was found to reduce weight gain, regardless of the amount of physical activity ...

Low-Impact Yoga, Pilates Brings Big Health Benefits at All Ages

FRIDAY, July 6, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Yoga and Pilates are suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels, medical experts say.

These low-impact workouts don't require special equipment and, after initial training, can be done at home to improve physical and mental health.

"Both use your own body weight and can be tailored for levels from beginner to advanced," said D...

AHA: Soccer is Healthy for More Than World Cup Pros

FRIDAY, July 6, 2018 (American Heart Association) -- As both a soccer mom and fanatic, Dr. Mercedes Carnethon knows why soccer is the world's favorite sport.

It's super easy to play.

"All it takes is a ball and a little bit of space," said Carnethon, an epidemiologist.

With fervor rising as World Cup contenders knock each other out of the tournament, soccer enth...

How to Maximize Your Gym Membership

FRIDAY, July 6, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- So, you've made the decision to get healthier and join a gym, a great way to reach the U.S. national guideline of 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week.

But don't let your good intentions or your membership fee go to waste. Whether your gym is near home or close to work, here's how to get the most from it.

First, set a specific fitn...

Fatigue Fuels Knee Injuries in Young Athletes

THURSDAY, July 5, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- When a teen athlete is tired, their risk of suffering a common knee injury rises, a new study suggests.

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) connects the thighbone to the shinbone, at the knee. When the ACL is overstretched or torn, it can cause swelling, instability and pain. It can also lead to high treatment costs because it may require su...

How to Start Exercising When You're Out of Shape

WEDNESDAY, July 4, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Though you may face challenges if you're carrying excess weight or haven't been active in a long time, you can still get fit and gain all the benefits that exercise has to offer.

The easiest way to get started is with walking because it's low-impact and low-risk, and all you need is a pair of supportive walking or running shoes. Begin by sch...

Sitting Tied to Raised Risk of Death From 14 Diseases

MONDAY, July 2, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Get up off of the couch: Sitting too much may kill you even if you exercise regularly.

If you sit for six hours a day or more, your risk of dying early jumps 19 percent, compared with people who sit fewer than three hours, an American Cancer Society study suggests.

And, the study authors added, sitting may kill you in 14 ways, includ...

Weight Loss May Reverse Course of Atrial Fibrillation

THURSDAY, June 28, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Weight loss might help reverse progression of a common heart arrhythmia in obese adults, a new study shows.

Researchers found that when obese adults with atrial fibrillation (a-fib) shed at least 10 percent of their starting weight, most saw the course of their condition reverse. More than half became a-fib-free during the study period.

...

'Walk & Think' Test Could Be Key to Concussion Care

THURSDAY, June 28, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Can you spell words backwards while you're walking?

Successfully performing that simple test of cognition could help decide whether a concussed athlete is safe to return to play, new research shows.

If the athlete can't simultaneously walk and think in this way, they may not be fully recovered from a concussion and could be at ris...

Just 1 in 4 Americans Gets Enough Exercise

THURSDAY, June 28, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Three-quarters of Americans are falling far short when it comes to exercise, and the South and Midwest bear the dubious distinction of having the most couch potatoes, a new government report shows.

Only about one in four adults (23 percent) meets minimum federal guidelines for physical activity, according to researchers from the U.S. Nationa...

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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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