People who have reached their later years may think it's primarily a time to relax, not to increase their physical activity. Not so. Previous research has suggested that exercise can improve memory and reverse muscle loss in older adults, among other benefits.

Bill Radke talks to Washington State University professor Deborah A. Christel about a recent study she co-authored on plus-sized women and athletic clothing. In the study, she found that a majority of plus-sized women, or women who wear the size 16 and over, had to shop in the mens' clothing section to find athletic clothing that fit them. 

There's no question that running changes your heart.

The issue is whether these changes are good or bad. I don't mean the occasional 3 miles once or twice a week, although even this minimal amount of exercise seems to have positive health benefits.

The Blerch is a sort of life-coach spirit animal coaxing comic artist Matthew Inman to lace up and go running.
The Oatmeal/Matthew Inman (http://theoatmeal.com/comics/running)

Our daily lives can sometimes feel like an overwhelming monster. Some days we beat the monster and we feel on top of the world. Other days, we don't.

Local comic artist and creator of The Oatmeal, Matthew Inman, conjured up what his monster looks like: a creature called “The Blerch” that's constantly chasing after him. The Blerch is a key character in his book, “The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances."

Any day now, Ben Lecomte will plunge into the Pacific Ocean off a Tokyo beach toward San Francisco. He wants to become the first person to swim across the Pacific. He's already the first person to free swim across the Atlantic Ocean, without a kickboard.

No one knows how the physical feat of swimming 5,500 miles will affect Lecomte's heart, but cardiologists are anxious to find out. His swim offers a rare opportunity to study whether extreme athletic performance has a harmful effect on the heart.

Biking Behind Bars: Female Inmates Battle Weight Gain

Oct 11, 2015

The gym at Riverside Correctional Facility in Philadelphia is through the metal detector, two heavy doors and down the hall.

There's a basketball court like one you'd see at any high school, except there's a corrections officer on guard near the 3-point line.

Sixteen stationary bikes are set up in a half-circle in the corner. On bike No. 2, Lakiesha Montgomery, 32, from Philadelphia, is pedaling fast and singing along to the Nicki Minaj song "Fly."

"I didn't think I'd be able to keep up; I'm not the skinniest thing in the bunch," she says.

Jon Tucker (left), 76, has been a regular mall walker for 10 years.
KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

Shops aren’t open yet, but a little before 8 a.m., Bellevue Square is already buzzing with walkers.

Carrying a portable oxygen tank, Jon Tucker is one of them. “I’m not very fast, but I get there,” he says.

Would you be willing to hand over your health information to a life insurance company, in exchange for financial rewards?

Activity trackers have become increasingly popular over the past few years, tracking everything from how many steps you walk to your location throughout the day.

Mike Quaglia was 42 when he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, which gradually robs its victims of their ability to move normally. For the next seven years, his condition deteriorated despite medication.

"I was at a point where I was either going to give up and let the Parkinson's take over, or I was going to decide to fight back," Quaglia says.

Fight back he did — literally. Last February he stumbled on a program called Rock Steady Boxing. That's right: It teaches Parkinson's patients how to box.

  • Gyms have built their business model around us not showing up. Gyms have way more members than they can actually accommodate. Low-priced gyms are the most extreme example of this. Planet Fitness, which charges between $10 and $20 per month, has, on average, 6,500 members per gym. Most of its gyms can hold around 300 people. Planet Fitness can do this because it knows that members won't show up. After all, if everyone who had a gym membership showed up at the gym, it would be Thunderdome.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

Ross Reynolds speaks with Dr. James Levine about his book, "Get Up! Why Your Chair is Killing You and What You Can Do About It." Dr. Levine treats obesity at the Mayo Clinic and he’s the inventor of the treadmill desk.

If we hit the gym, don't we deserve a little extra something, maybe something sinfully sweet? The idea that sacrifice begets reward is embedded in our collective thinking.

But a fascinating new study from the folks at the Cornell Food and Brand Lab shows how this thinking might backfire. Thinking of exercise as work can lure us into mindlessly devouring calorie bombs, such as a big helping of pudding or extra handfuls of M&M's. And compensating for physical activity with sweet treats this way may lead to weight gain.

Robyn Mendenhall Gardner was amazed when what started off as a monthlong ab workout challenge between friends and family caught fire on the Web.

The Montana mother of eight told Shots she came across a 30-day ab fitness plan online and, after having a tough time finishing it, turned it into a Facebook event to motivate herself.

If you're in your 20s, you might work out because it's fun, or because it makes you look better. But here's another reason to hit the gym or go for a jog — exercising now may help preserve your memory and cognition later in life.

Researchers figured this out by following 2,700 men and women for 25 years as part of the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults Study.