Healthy Exercise Habits

CEHD Blog Compilation: Research-Based Tips for Healthy Exercise Habits

The University of Minnesota College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) and School of Kinesiology conducts cutting-edge research on how to establish healthy exercise habits. This research-based approach helps us determine what works – and what doesn’t.

The following are some of our most popular and informative blogs on exercise and the considerable benefits it can have for people of all ages, from reducing childhood obesity to improving mental health later in life. We hope you can use our findings in your journey towards better health and establishing good exercise habits.

Research-Based Principles to Help You Develop Regular Exercise Habits

Author: Beth Lewis Date Posted: January 19, 2018

There is a wide array of health benefits of regular exercise. Reduced risk of stroke, cancer and cardiovascular disease are just some of the potential draws to starting an exercise program. But what I’ve found in my research suggests that focusing on those big, long-term goals isn’t an effective way to be motivated to exercise that day. We sometimes rationalize putting off exercise with questions like “Do I need to prevent cardiovascular disease today? Can I do it tomorrow?” The answer is usually, “Yes.” These general, long-term health benefits are important to people in the abstract, but often easy to ignore in the moment. Learn More

Exergaming: Using Fitness Technology & Exercise Games to Replace Screen Time, Not Outdoor Time

Author:  Zan Gao Date Posted: May 19, 2017

Technology is rapidly changing the field of physical activity and health. It has become a convenient way to replace time in front of the computer screen, but not time outside. Whether it’s exercise games like the ones made popular by Nintendo’s motion-controlled Wii console, apps like MyFitnessPal or fitness trackers like Fitbit, more of us are using technology to augment and improve our health and exercise habits. Learn More

The Power of Habit: How to Succeed at Keeping Your New Year’s Resolutions

Author: Clayton Cook Date Posted: January 13, 2017

It’s important that your goals are consistent with your values. Before setting a goal, clarify your values and how your goals can help you be the person, parent, worker or spouse you want to be. Science shows that connecting goals to values can be a powerful source of motivation, making it more likely that you’ll follow through. Once established, taking brief moments to reflect on values-based goals can help one stay connected to ‘why’ they are making the change and problem-solve barriers that interfere with making the change. Learn More

Unlocking the Health Benefits of Yoga for African American Women

Author: Daheia Barr-Anderson Date Posted: September 30, 2016

A regular yoga practice has been shown to have tremendous health benefits, but too often it can be daunting to those who feel intimidated by yoga due to their weight, physical limitations, race, gender, or orientation. It’s time to change that. I recently conducted a pilot study with African American women and yoga that shows the potential it has to improve health outcomes in our community. Learn More

A Community and Family-Based Approach to Fighting Childhood Obesity

Author: Daheia Barr-Anderson Date Posted: September 18, 2015

Childhood obesity is the focus of my research at CEHD, and we’re learning more about the cultural and social structures that affect health and fitness in our youth. By going out into the community and speaking with students and their families, we’re building a base of knowledge that helps us create the best possible wellness practices. Not surprisingly, we’re discovering that the old maxim “it takes a village” holds true in promoting healthy living. Through our research at CEHD, we’re finding solutions that tap both families and communities to create structures that encourage wellness. Learn More

Exercise Therapy: The Best Prescription for a Healthy Heart and Lungs

Author: Eric Snyder Date Posted: February 27, 2015

One of the best ways to ensure good health for you and your loved ones is to stress the importance of exercise as more than a tool to help with weight control. From Alzheimer’s disease to colon cancer to Type II diabetes, exercise therapy can help with a wide range of diseases. It is especially vital in the fight against heart failure, which is closely tied to lung function. This is why my research has led me to study the genetics and lung fluid balance in both healthy patients and patients with either heart failure or cystic fibrosis. Learn More

Preventing Postpartum Depression with Exercise

Author: Beth Lewis Date Posted: April 25, 2014

Research indicates that women with a personal and/or maternal history of depression are more likely to develop depression during the postpartum phase than women without a history. We recently examined how exercise can play a role in preventing postpartum depression among these women. Learn More

To get the latest on Health and Resilience, and many other topics, check back at to see the latest research from CEHD.

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