Exercise & Fitness Archive

Articles

Try this: Get low with deep squats

Practicing the deep low squat, commonly known as the "Asian squat," can improve lower back strength, flexibility, and mobility at the hips, knees, and ankles.

3 kettlebell moves

Kettlebells can add depth to home workouts as they are easily stored and can be used to perform virtually any type of movement for an all-around workout that hits the major muscles. Kettlebells look like balls or bells with handles on top and range in weight from five to 30 pounds and higher. While they can function similarly to dumbbells, kettlebells can provide a more challenging workout, as a person needs muscle strength, balance, core stability, flexibility, and coordination to control its weight.

Want better sleep? Aim for at least an hour of exercise per week

In a 2024 study, people who exercised at least twice a week (for a total of at least an hour), for 10 years were less likely to report difficulty falling asleep or sleeping for less than six hours a night compared with people who were inactive for 10 years.

What you need to know about electric bicycles

Riding an electric bicycle (e-bike) has risks and benefits. On the plus side, an e-bike—which has a built-in electric motor—can assist a rider when pedaling is difficult. It puts less compression on the joints than a conventional bike, and makes riding easier for people with joint pain or diminished strength or endurance. But at higher speeds, an e-bike can be difficult to control for people not used to riding, which might lead to accidents.

Interval training: A shorter, more enjoyable workout?

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a time-efficient way for people to improve their fitness and cardiovascular health. Even short bursts of high-intensity activity may trigger the release of mood-boosting brain chemicals. Traditionally, HIIT features 30 to 90 seconds of high-intensity effort followed by an equal or longer period of lower-intensity activity or rest. HIIT variations include fartlek (Swedish for "speed play"), which uses environmental cues to set intervals, and Tabata, which features 20-second intervals of intensity followed by 10-second recovery intervals.

Yoga skepticism

About 38 million Americans practice yoga, and three-quarters are women. Some people hesitate to try yoga because they wrongly believe they must be slender and flexible and need to buy costly equipment. But yoga's health benefits are plentiful and proven. Research suggests yoga eases depression, boosts sleep quality, improves chronic pain, and reduces cardiovascular disease risks. People can overcome their reluctance to try yoga by joining a class, taking a friend along, asking for modifications, and being patient with their progress.

Try this: Band practice

Resistance bands are versatile exercise equipment that can supplement people's usual workouts. They also help people who have trouble gripping or holding dumbbells or need greater control when exercising, like when recovering from an injury or managing joint pain.

Does tai chi beat aerobics to lower blood pressure?

A 2024 study found that among people at risk for high blood pressure, those who practiced tai chi for one hour four times a week for a year experienced an average seven-point drop in blood pressure, compared with a four-point drop in those who did aerobics instead.

Take a Nordic walk

Nordic walking is a popular way to enjoy the benefits of walking while getting a full-body workout. It mimics the motion of cross-country skiing by using poles to push yourself as you walk along and can offer a higher-intensity workout than walking.

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