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What Helps Your Heart More, Losing Fat or Gaining Muscle?

FRIDAY, Sept. 17, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Shedding excess weight does much more for the long-term heart health of young people than building muscle, new research suggests.

It's not that gaining muscle while young proved to be a cardiovascular problem. It's just that losing fat offered bigger heart benefits.

"We absolutely still encourage exercise," said study le...

Anxious? Maybe You Can Exercise It Away

Anxiety prevention may be just a snowy trail away.

New research suggests cross-country skiers -- and perhaps others who also exercise vigorously -- are less prone to develop anxiety disorders than less active folks.

Researchers in Sweden spent roughly two decades tracking anxiety risk among more than 395,000 Swedes. Nearly half the participants were skiers with a history of competin...

Mom's Exercise in Pregnancy May Help Baby's Lungs

Exercising during pregnancy can benefit babies' lungs, Scandinavian researchers report.

"This study offers a fascinating hint that increased physical activity of mothers is associated with better lung function in their babies and, therefore, possibly their health in later life," said Jonathan Grigg, head of the European Respiratory Society Tobacco Control Committee, who was not involved i...

One Key Factor Drives Weight Gain in College

College students often put on weight during their freshman year, and a lack of structured exercise may be largely to blame, a new study suggests.

Weight gain is so common among first-year college students that it has spawned the phrase "the freshman 15" -- though that figure is something of a myth.

More often, studies have found, college freshmen gain about 8 pounds over the academi...

Pandemic Had Many Young Athletes Reconsidering Their Sport

The pause in youth sports caused by the COVID-19 pandemic wound up shaking some budding athletes to their core, a new U.S. survey shows.

More than 1 in 10 youth athletes ended up reconsidering their sports goals or aspirations as the pandemic closed stadiums and gyms. That included one-quarter of athletes in their later teens, researchers found.

Some felt that the pandemic cost them...

Getting Healthy After Heart Attack Could Add Over 7 Years to Life

Heart attack survivors could gain more than seven healthy years of life if they take the right medications and improve their lifestyle, new research estimates.

Unfortunately, studies have found, heart attack survivors rarely get optimal control over their risk factors.

The new research echoes that evidence: Of more than 3,200 patients, only 2% had their blood pressure, cholesterol a...

One Activity Causes 4 Out of 5 Sports-Linked Spinal Injuries

Football and other contact sports get a lot of attention for their injury hazards. But for most adults, bike riding is the biggest back-breaker, a new study suggests.

Of more than 12,000 sports-related spinal injuries among U.S. adults, researchers found that a full 81% were due to bicycling mishaps. The injuries mostly included vertebral fractures, often in the neck but also in the middl...

Just Starting Exercise in Your 60s? It'll Still Do a World of Good

If you're a 60-something with heart disease, it's not too late to give your ticker the benefits of a regular workout.

Swiss researchers found that survival rates among heart patients who became active later in life were nearly the same as those who'd been exercising for years.

"Continuing an active lifestyle over the years is associated with the greatest longevity," said study autho...

Exercise Could Help Fight 'Chemo Brain' in Breast Cancer Patients

For breast cancer patients battling "chemo brain," regular exercise may be a powerful prescription, a new study suggests.

The term "chemo brain" refers to thinking and memory problems often experienced by patients who undergo chemotherapy.

It's "a growing clinical concern," said study first author Elizabeth Salerno, an assistant professor of surgery at Washington University School o...

Can You Exercise Your A-fib Away?

Millions of Americans live with a common abnormal heart rhythm known as atrial fibrillation (a-fib), but new research suggests that exercise might ease the severity of the condition.

When folks with a-fib participated in a six-month exercise program, they were able to maintain a normal heart rhythm and had less severe symptoms than those who only received information about the benefits of...

Too Much Screen Time Could Raise Your Odds for Stroke

You've heard the warnings about kids who are forever glued to their screens, but all that screen time can have devastating health effects for grown-ups.

If you're under 60, too much time using a computer, watching TV or reading could boost your risk for a stroke, Canadian researchers warn.

"Be aware that very high sedentary time with little time spent on physical activity can have a...

Sit All Day for Work? Simple Step Can Cut Your Health Risk

Take a work break: A small, new study suggests that getting out of your chair every half hour may help improve your blood sugar levels and your overall health.

Every hour spent sitting or lying down increases the risk for metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes, the study authors said. But moving around during those sedentary hours is an easy way to improve insulin sensitivity and reduce t...

More 'Green Time,' Less Screen Time Boosts Kids' Mental Health

Want to see a temperamental tween or teen act happier?

The formula is simple, a large international study suggests.

"Screen time should be replaced by 'green time' for optimizing the well-being of our kids," said study author Asad Khan, an associate professor in biostatistics and epidemiology at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia.

That advice stems from survey...

Smoggy Day? Exercise Still the Healthy Choice, Study Finds

The benefits of regular outdoor exercise in areas with air pollution outweigh the risks, a new, long-term study claims.

"Habitual exercise reduces the risk of death regardless of exposure to air pollution, and air pollution generally increases the risk of death regardless of habitual exercise," said researcher Dr. Xiang Qian Lao, from the Jockey Club School of Public Health and Primary Ca...

Achilles Tendon Injures Are Rising - Here's How to Spot Them

Achilles tendon injuries have skyrocketed in the United States this year, researchers report.

Physicians at Michigan Medicine-University of Michigan diagnosed more Achilles ruptures during June 2021 than in all of 2020.

Injuries to the body's strongest, thickest tendon account for about 30% of all sports-related injuries, and are most common among active, middle-aged men, they added...

Daily Half-Hour Walk Can Greatly Boost Survival After Stroke

After a stroke, survivors can greatly increase their odds for many more years of life through activities as easy as a half-hour's stroll each day, new research shows.

The nearly five-year-long Canadian study found that stroke survivors who walked or gardened at least three to four hours a week (about 30 minutes a day), cycled at least two to three hours per week, or got an equivalent amou...

Try These 3 Tips to Lose Those Pandemic Pounds

If you're like many people, your waistline has expanded during the pandemic.

"The world shut down," said Heather Tressler, a registered dietitian at the Penn State Celiac Clinic at Penn State Health's Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. "Maybe you didn't change what you ate, but you became less active."

Lately, Tressler says she's seeing patients -- adults and children -- who have ga...

Just 250 Fewer Calories Per Day Brings Big Health Rewards for Obese Seniors

Seniors, it may be easier than you think to undo the damage of decades of bad eating and precious little exercise.

New research shows that cutting just 250 calories a day and exercising moderately could lead to not only weight loss but improved vascular health in older obese adults.

These lifestyle changes may help offset age-related increases in aortic stiffness, which is a measure...

Most Athletes With Genetic Heart Ailment Can Return to Play

Having a genetic heart condition often means the end of sports for young athletes, but new research could be a game changer.

A 20-year study by the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., suggests that for kids with most genetic heart conditions, the risks of playing sports can be managed through a shared decision-making process.

The study is a continuation of research on return to play ...

Pregnant Women Need to Take Care in Sweltering Summer Heat

This summer has brought dangerous, record-breaking heat to parts of the United States and Canada. The hot weather poses an extra challenge for pregnant women.

Mothers-to-be need to stay cool to avoid heat exhaustion and its complications, according to an expert at Baylor College of Medicine, in Houston.

"The summer is tough on pregnant women because the body struggles to cool down w...

Empty Stadiums, COVID Fears: How Will It Affect Olympic Athletes?

To do their best, Olympic athletes need to be both physically and mentally fit, but the COVID-19 pandemic and its restrictions at the Tokyo Olympics has made that a real challenge, experts say.

"This Olympics is unprecedented," said Dr. Michael Lardon, an associate clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego.

The Tokyo Olympics itself, which officiall...

Want to Avoid Sleep Apnea? Get Off the Sofa

Here's yet another reason to limit screen time and get moving: Boosting your activity levels could reduce your risk of sleep apnea, according to a new study.

Compared to the most active people in the study, those who spent more than four hours a day sitting watching TV had a 78% higher risk of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), and those with sedentary jobs had a 49% higher risk.

And th...

Exercise Boosts Survival for People With Implanted Defibrillators

Just small amounts of exercise can benefit people with implanted heart defibrillators, new research shows.

An implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) is a battery-powered device placed under the skin to detect abnormal heart rhythms and deliver an electric shock to restore a normal heartbeat.

The new study found that even slight increases in physical activity reduced the risk o...

Athletes Face Twice the Odds for A-Fib

Athletes have a much higher risk of the heart rhythm disorder atrial fibrillation than non-athletes, and younger athletes have a higher risk than older athletes, according to a new report from Britain.

Atrial fibrillation (a-fib) is an irregular, often rapid heart rate that can impede blood flow. A-fib can increase the risk of stroke, heart failure and other heart-related problems.

...

5-Minute Daily Breathing Exercise May Equal Meds in Lowering Blood Pressure

A quick daily "workout" for the breathing muscles may help people lower their blood pressure to a similar degree as exercise or even medication, a small study suggests.

The technique is called inspiratory muscle strength training (IMST), and it involves using a device that provides resistance as the user inhales -- essentially working out the diaphragm and other breathing muscles.

R...

Masks at the Gym: Uncomfortable But Not Unsafe, Study Finds

Wearing a mask while you exercise may be uncomfortable, but a new study should reassure gym-goers that it poses no actual health risks.

"What we found was, that it is safe to run at peak exercise in both an N95 mask and a cloth face mask," said researcher Dr. Matthew Kampert, of the Cleveland Clinic.

His team looked at 20 healthy people, average age 37, who ran on a treadmill to pea...

Sleep, Exercise & Your Odds for a Long, Healthy Life

Poor quality sleep can shave years off your life, and these effects may be magnified if you don't get enough physical activity.

That's the bad news. The good news is that getting more exercise may help counter some of the health risks known to accompany poor quality sleep, new research shows.

Folks who scored low in both sleep and exercise categories were 57% more likely to die from...

Summer Playgrounds Come With Fun and Hazards

As the pandemic eases and children flock to playgrounds this summer, parents need to make sure their kids are safe, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) says.

"After a challenging school year and months of being socially distanced and kept apart from their friends, children are eager to get outside and play," said AAOS spokesperson Dr. Rachel Goldstein. She is a pediatric o...

On Father's Day, Give Dad Tips to Keep Healthy

Men tend to put their health care last, but Penn State Health offers some tips this Father's Day for ensuring guys stay healthy in the future.

"Men tend to take care of their cars more frequently than they do themselves. But when men wait to see the doctor once their 'check engine' light comes on, they suffer major health problems that could've been prevented," said Dr. Eldra Daniels. He ...

How Secure Is Your Health or Fitness App?

Your health and fitness apps may have privacy issues that put your personal information at risk, researchers warn.

"This analysis found serious problems with privacy and inconsistent privacy practices in mHealth [mobile health] apps. Clinicians should be aware of these and articulate them to patients when determining the benefits and risks," lead study author Muhammad Ikram and his co-aut...

Child Drownings in U.S. Pools, Spas Are on the Rise

Pool and spa drowning deaths among U.S. children are spiking upwards, and restrictions related to the COVID pandemic may also mean that fewer kids are getting the swimming lessons that might keep them safe, the Consumer Product Safety Commission warns.

On average, there were about 400 reported pool/spa drowning deaths among children younger than age 15 each year from 2016 through 2018, ac...

Your Teen's Smartphone Could Be Key to Unhealthy Weight

Your teens' route to a healthy or unhealthy weight may be in their hands -- literally.

New research out of South Korea shows that teens who spend too much time on their smartphones are also more prone to eating habits that increase their odds for obesity.

One nutritionist who helps treat obesity in the young wasn't surprised by the findings.

"Spending hours on end on your phon...

New Disabilities Plague Half of COVID Survivors After Hospital Discharge

People hospitalized for COVID-19 are often discharged in much worse shape than before their illness - underscoring the value of preventing severe cases with vaccination.

In a new study, researchers found that during the pandemic's early months, almost half of COVID-19 patients discharged from their health system had some degree of "functional decline."

That's a broad category includ...

Amazon Tribe Could Hold Key to Health of Aging Brains

A native South American population that lives a pre-industrial lifestyle may have a slower rate of brain aging than the typical Westerner, a new study finds.

The study focused on the Tsimane population, whose roughly 16,000 members dwell in a remote part of the Bolivian Amazon. They live by farming, hunting, gathering and fishing - a lifestyle devoid of processed food, couch time and stre...

Lost Weight? One Factor Can Keep It From Returning

Losing weight is hard, and keeping it off can be even harder. Now, a new study suggests that sitting less might make all the difference.

People who maintained their weight loss spent about three hours less each day sitting than did folks who were obese and stayed that way.

"That's a quite a difference," said study author Suzanne Phelan, a professor of kinesiology and public health ...

Healthy Living Helps Prevent Dementia, Even If It Runs in the Family

For people worried about developing dementia due to their family history, a preliminary study offers some good news: A healthy lifestyle might curb your risk.

Researchers found that older adults with healthy habits had a lower risk of developing dementia, versus the less health-conscious -- even if a parent or sibling had suffered from the brain disease.

Lifestyle choices did not er...

When Diabetes Strikes in Pregnancy, Do Women Eat Healthier?

Women who develop diabetes in pregnancy don't tend to make healthy diet or exercise changes to help fight it, a new study finds.

That could have dire consequences: Gestational (pregnancy-related) diabetes raises the risks of high blood pressure in mothers, larger babies, cesarean delivery, low blood sugar in newborns, and development of chronic diabetes later in life.

Moms-to-be who...

COVID-19 Appears to Have No Lasting Impact on College Athletes' Hearts

Heart complications are rare among college athletes who have had COVID-19, according to a small study.

"Our findings may offer reassurance to high school athletes, coaches and parents where resources for testing can be limited," said senior author Dr. Ranjit Philip, assistant professor in pediatric cardiology at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, in Memphis.

For the ...

Heart Risk Factors Show Up Earlier in U.S. Black Women

Young Black American women have high rates of lifestyle-related risk factors for heart disease, a new study indicates.

The findings show the need to help them adopt healthy eating and physical activity habits, as well as make it easier for them to access health care, the researchers said.

"Young people should be the healthiest members of our population, with normal body weight and n...

Drug Saxenda Aids Weight Loss -- But You Should Exercise, Too

The weight-loss drug Saxenda can keep extra pounds off -- but combining it with exercise brings a bigger payoff, a new clinical trial finds.

The study found that some longstanding advice is valid: Prescription weight-loss drugs work best when used along with -- and not in place of -- lifestyle changes.

Saxenda (liraglutide) is a prescription drug approved in the United States for sp...

Peloton Recalls Treadmills Following Child's Death, Numerous Injuries

Peloton said Wednesday it is recalling its Tread and Tread+ exercise machines, just weeks after the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) warned that one child's death and dozens of injuries have been linked to the treadmills.

In a company statement, Peloton CEO John Foley acknowledged the company had been wrong to initially fight the CPSC's April 17 request to recall the product...

Getting Back Into Running After Lockdowns? Here's How to Do It Safely

If you plan to resume running after an extended break due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you need to ease back in, one expert advises.

"There are a lot of good programs, including Couch to 5K or C25K, that focus on increasing running slowly up to about 3 miles or 30 minutes," said physical therapist Grace Neurohr, a running and bio-motion specialist for the Rubin Institute for Advanced Orthope...

You Don't Have to Be Obese for Belly Fat to Harm You, Heart Experts Warn

Extra padding around the belly can spell trouble for the heart, even if you're not technically overweight.

That's among the conclusions of a new scientific statement from the American Heart Association (AHA), where experts lay out the heart risks of being "apple-shaped."

It encourages doctors to dust off those old-fashioned tape measures and make waist circumference part of patients...

High School Football Doesn't Affect Brain in Middle Age, Study Says

Here's some good news for aging athletes: If you played high school football, you're no more likely than others to have problems with concentration, memory or depression in middle age, according to a new study.

"Men who played high school football did not report worse brain health compared with those who played other contact sports, noncontact sports, or did not participate in sports dur...

CPSC Warns Against Using Peloton Treadmill After Child's Death

Users with small children and pets should stop using Peloton Tread+ exercise machines immediately, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

The warning comes after one child died and dozens of others have been sucked underneath the home treadmill. One family pet also was injured, CPSC said.

Less than a month ago, Peloton reported a child's death by a Peloton ...

Pandemic Stress Keeps Many From Exercising

Exercise can provide a much-needed mental health boost during the COVID-19 pandemic. But stress and anxiety may hold you back, new research suggests.

According to a survey by researchers at McMaster University in Canada, some people may need mental health support to exercise during the pandemic.

"Maintaining a regular exercise program is difficult at the best of times, and the cond...

One Good Way to Help Beat COVID: Exercise

Exercise guards against a host of chronic diseases that can plague people as they age, but can it also protect against severe cases of COVID-19?

New research suggests that's so: Being physically active reduced COVID-19 patients' risk of hospitalization, intensive care unit (ICU) admission and death, and even being just somewhat active provided some protection.

"This is a wake-up cal...

Cloth Masks Do Make Workouts a Bit Tougher, Study Finds

A cloth mask can limit your ability to exercise, so it might be a good idea to alter your workouts when wearing one, researchers say.

Some previous studies have assessed how surgical face masks might impact exercise, but few have looked at cloth masks.

In a new study, researchers compared the exercise performance of 31 healthy adults (aged 18 to 29) who ran on a treadmill to the poi...

Physically Active at Work? It's Not as Healthy as Leisure Exercise

Going for a brisk walk after a long day at work may be better for your heart than getting all of your exercise on the job.

New research suggests that while current health guidelines indicate that leisure-time activity and physical activity at work are created equally when it comes to heart health benefits, this may not be the case after all.

Leisure-time exercise -- whether it be ta...

Is Your Spin Class Music Way Too Loud?

Turning down the music at your fitness classes won't affect the intensity of your workout, researchers say.

It's common for fitness instructors to crank up the volume -- sometimes to levels loud enough to damage hearing -- because they think it will help students work harder.

But researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine found there's no link between music volume ...

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