Exercise & Fitness Archive


Early morning exercise may be the best time for weight loss

A 2023 study found that people who exercise in the morning, specifically between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m., have a lower risk of obesity than those who are most active in the midday or evening.

3 easy ways to strengthen your shoulders

When a shoulder workout seems time-consuming or challenging, it might help to make the exercises easier or more appealing. One approach is doing shoulder exercises with a resistance band instead of fancy weight machines. Another strategy is doing a few occasional shoulder exercises, such as making arm circles, while seated. And it might be fun to dance and move the arms in time to music, which works the shoulder muscles; or to place a ball against a wall and roll the ball in small letter shapes from A to Z, which works all of the muscles in the shoulders.

The best strength-building exercise to lower blood pressure?

Isometric exercises that engage the muscles without movement—such as wall squats and planks—may help lower blood pressure more than other types of strength training. Experts have speculated about a possible mechanism: During isometric exercise, clenched muscles temporarily constrain blood flow. The following surge of blood may stimulate the release of factors that help relax the vessels and ultimately contribute to a reduction in blood pressure.

Do more for your core

A strong core serves as the foundation for upper- and lower-body movements. It helps maintain a healthy posture and prevents back injuries and falls. Like all muscles, the core muscles weaken as people age, so it's important for people to do core exercises on a regular basis. The best core exercises are movements that activate as many of the core muscles as possible at one time. Some examples include planks, diagonal chops, and deadbugs.

Move of the month: Side lunge with knee lift

A side lunge with a knee lift works the inner and outer thigh muscles and helps improve balance.

The far-reaching effects of a little bit of weight loss

Losing 5% of one's total body weight can result in clinically significant physiologic changes. For example, losing a little weight can reduce heartburn, knee pain, blood pressure, and diabetes risk. Losing 5% of one's body weight may also lead to better sexual function, more restorative sleep, extra energy, and more self-esteem. To reach a 5% reduction in total body weight, it helps to exercise; eat a healthy diet rich in lean proteins, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds; and get enough sleep.

Free Healthbeat Signup

Get the latest in health news delivered to your inbox!

Sign Up
Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Thanks for visiting. Don't miss your FREE gift.

The Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness, is yours absolutely FREE when you sign up to receive Health Alerts from Harvard Medical School

Sign up to get tips for living a healthy lifestyle, with ways to fight inflammation and improve cognitive health, plus the latest advances in preventative medicine, diet and exercise, pain relief, blood pressure and cholesterol management, and more.

Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Health Alerts from Harvard Medical School

Get helpful tips and guidance for everything from fighting inflammation to finding the best diets for weight loss...from exercises to build a stronger core to advice on treating cataracts. PLUS, the latest news on medical advances and breakthroughs from Harvard Medical School experts.

BONUS! Sign up now and
get a FREE copy of the
Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness

Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Stay on top of latest health news from Harvard Medical School.

Plus, get a FREE copy of the Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness.