Exercise and Fitness

Can fitness counter fatness?

Some research has suggested that people who are overweight but also active can experience a reduction in cardiovascular disease risk. Researchers examining this “fit but fat” paradox found that being active is somewhat protective compared to being inactive, but ultimately does not offset the other negative effects of having overweight or obesity.

Summer camp: What parents need to know this year

Claire McCarthy, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Many parents and children hope that this summer will allow a return to typical activities. For families who are considering summer camp for their children, adjustments and adaptations will need to be made because of COVID-19, and parents should be prepared to ask questions about planning and risk management.

Returning to sports and physical activity after COVID-19: What parents need to know

Claire McCarthy, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Most children and teens who have COVID-19 recover completely, but rarely there can be damage to a child’s heart muscle, and the stress of exercise on a damaged heart could lead to a serious condition. Here’s what parents need to know about recent guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics for children returning to physical activity after COVID-19.

But I don’t feel like exercising…

Steve Calechman

Contributor

For a long time, the implicit message about fitness has been that it only counts if you are doing it with certain clothing, shoes, equipment, and facilities. This can make people feel that exercise is not for them. Expanding the idea of what counts as exercise — and making it fun — can help motivate people.

3 easy ways to get active — right now

Matthew Solan

Executive Editor, Harvard Men's Health Watch

Thinking about exercising is great, but just jumping in is often the best way to blast past mental or emotional barriers. You don’t need a complex workout program; start small and focus on making activity a daily habit. Here are easy ways to add activity to your day.

How does sleep affect your heart rate?

During waking hours you may feel your heart rate fluctuating, and activity or intense emotions can cause it to spike. But what happens to your heart rate when you sleep? It varies then too, depending on the phase of sleep you are in.

Exercise matters to health and well-being, regardless of your size

Regardless of your size or fitness level, exercise has multiple benefits. Almost anything that gets you moving counts, and some activity is always better than none. These suggestions can help you make exercise work for you.

3 simple steps to jump-start your heart health this year

Several habits can improve your heart health (and, as a side effect, may make you less vulnerable to infections like the flu or COVID-19). Focusing on a few of these is an excellent way to take care of your heart — and boost your overall health in the process.

We’re supposed to make resolutions now?

Steve Calechman

Contributor

After everything that has happened in 2020, making New Year’s resolutions might be too much to expect of many. Setting goals for the coming year seems like too much to ask right now. Is it okay to just give yourself a break this year? Or is there another way of looking at the whole situation?

Making the most of physical activity apps

Most people know exercise is good for their health, but only about half of Americans meet the recommended physical activity guidelines. Making exercising more fun helps keep people interested, and research has demonstrated that there is a relationship between using activity apps and increased engagement in exercise.