As people age we tend to become less active, and are more likely to gain weight. Those two characteristics can lead to lower muscle mass, increasing frailty and associated health problems. Attacking just the weight issue by reducing food intake can certainly be helpful with weight gain, but since weight loss can also decrease muscle mass, it can also contribute to impaired physical fitness and sequelae such as poor balance and diminished strength. So an important question for the older group is what type of exercise — aerobic such as walking, swimming or bike riding, or resistance such as weight lifting — would help the older obese person endeavoring to lose weight? A combination of the two types has been found to be helpful in younger obese people and in non-obese older folks, but...

Legendary, Emmy-winning Fox TV anchor, Ernie Anastos -- who just had a day named after him by the mayor of New York City-- kicks off his new television show with this "Doctors on Call" segment.

Here, in the first installment of the recurring series, he had urologic oncologist and robotic surgeon Dr. David Samadi and me, ACSH's Director of Medicine, to answer viewer medical-related questions. 

We brought practical answers to viewer questions that ranged widely from acupuncture to sexual health.


Sure, we all know that it's important to be physically active to help achieve and maintain a healthy body weight and perhaps diminish the risk of heart disease, some cancers and overall mortality. But how much is enough? Does one really have to exercise 5 days per week, 30 minutes at a clip to accrue health benefits, and does that exercise have to be vigorous or will a brisk walk suffice? The World Health Organization recommends:

  • Adults aged 18–64 should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week or do at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity...

So, if you don't mind me asking: How are your New Year's resolutions going so far?

If you're like most people who re-dedicated themselves to eating better and exercising more at the start of 2017, it's a safe bet the answer is "not so good." And the reason for this shortcoming, an expert researcher tells us, is rooted in basic human psychology.

Issuing self-improvement promises immediately makes us feel good about ourselves, but the fact is that they require no effort – and any action that will be required is delayed, sometimes for quite a while. That's a primary reason why people embrace resolutions year after year, even if the same ones are ignored annually. A second big reason is that hope is central to human nature. And despite an individual's desire to improve one's...

If feeling older than you look appeals to you, take a seat while you read this: A recent study found that women who sit longer than 10 hours a day, combined with low physical activity, have cells that are biologically older — eight years older to be exact — than their actual age. 

The study looked at the lifestyles of 1,500 women, between the ages of 64 and 90, who are part of a Women's Health Inititative (WHI) — a national study on chronic disease and postmenopausal women. Researchers found that women who sat for more than ten hours per day, and exercised less than 40 minutes daily, had shorter telomeres — the caps at the ends of DNA strands which protect chromosomes. Shorter...

Listen up, slackers: You can no longer use 'work' as an excuse to avoid burning calories during the week. It turns out, you could get your best workout in over the weekend, without lifting a finger Monday through Friday.

According to a recent study, cramming all of your weekly exercise recommendations (or goals) into one or two weekend sessions is just as good as working out during the week, and yields the same significant health benefits. Experts say staying active over the weekend was still enough to reduce the risk of early mortality by a third. 

The observational findings — published in JAMA...

If anyone embodies the ideals of healthy living and longevity, it appears there's no one better suited for the role than Robert Marchand.

He's been doing all the right things for quite awhile now; eating well, exercising frequently and steering clear of dangerous habits. And as a result, despite his advancing age, there's little to slow him down – including an hour-long bike ride.

Which broke a world record.

At the age of ... 105.

To those who know him, the indefatigable Frenchman once again demonstrated that adhering to the tenets of good health pays off handsomely, this time with a ride of slightly more than 14 miles in 60 minutes, the longest ever for anyone his age. The 5-foot centenarian accomplished the feat at the Velodrome National, France's top...

I can burn how many calories while shoveling?  You don't have to resolve to hit the gym this month, especially if you can easily burn 200-400 calories while doing winter outdoor activities: skiing, snowshoeing, and even shoveling. 



Staying fit by playing tennis

A recent health story is currently making the rounds proclaiming that some forms of exercise, as well as participation in three particular racquet sports, are better than others for your overall health and will help you live longer.

These online articles invariably attract our attention. Why? Because they carry headlines that provide the simple solution that everyone craves: the way to better fitness, and finally, a clear, unambiguous and athletic path to a long, healthy life.

Sure, these stories do contain some worthwhile information on how to improve one's fitness. But unfortunately, they are the very definition of health hype.

That's because placing emphasis on specific activities is overblown, and the study these stories are based on has a range of...

Last week I wrote about exercise and the young — now I want to go to the other end of the age spectrum and provide some evidence that not only is physical activity good for older folks, it can even help with rehabilitation.

A major downside to aging for many people is loss of independent mobility. For example, having to be bedridden for an extended period can  make it difficult for a person to regain the ability to walk as independently as they might have done previous to their illness. This disability can negatively influence  a person's quality of life, and increase the probability of depression and social isolation.

The question of how best to help such individuals regain...