activity is key to improving your health and preventing serious illness.
Experts say to do either of these things to get and stay healthy:2
Moderate activity for at least 2½ hours
a week. Moderate activity means things like brisk walking, brisk cycling, or
shooting baskets. But any activities—including daily chores—that raise your
heart rate can be included. You notice your heart
beating faster with this kind of activity.
Vigorous activity for at least 1¼ hours a week. Vigorous activity means things
like jogging, cycling fast, or cross-country skiing. You breathe rapidly and
your heart beats much faster with this kind of activity.
Physical activity for weight loss means burning more calories. Experts say more than 5 hours a week (aim for 60 to 90 minutes a day) of moderate activity can help you lose weight and keep it off.2
Did You Know?
Under the Affordable Care Act, many health insurance plans will cover preventive care services, including obesity screening and nutrition counseling, at no cost to you. Learn more.
Being active in several blocks of 10-minutes or more
throughout the day can count toward these recommendations. You can choose to do
one or both types of activity.
If you're not active right now,
you don't have to start out at this level. Instead, start small and build up
over time. Moderate activity is safe for most people. But it's always a good
idea to talk to your doctor before you start an exercise program.
Regular moderate-intensity physical activity lowers your risk of:3
High blood pressure.
Type 2 diabetes.
colon cancer, and cancers of the female reproductive
Work activity into your daily life
teeth and getting dressed are regular parts of your day, right? You hardly
think about it.
It can be that way with physical activity too.
With practice and repetition, you can make activity—whether it's formal
exercise or an activity like gardening or walking the dog—so routine that it
becomes something you just do because it's part of your day and you enjoy