Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Fitness & Exercise

Font Size

Taking the First Step Toward Fitness.


Once you have started walking or doing other types of aerobic exercise, such as biking or swimming, "a little weight exercise is good two to three times a week if you want to get a little more pretty ...," Fletcher says. "Have a trainer to talk to you first," he advises.

A recent National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute study conducted with the Cooper Institute for Aerobics Research in Dallas indicated that small lifestyle changes to increase activity levels are as effective as a structured exercise program at improving blood pressure and overall heart fitness.

Wayne T. Phillips, PhD, an assistant professor of exercise, science, and physical education at Arizona State University, in Tempe, calls this the "user-friendly" approach to physical activity. "Now with the new physical activity guidelines from the U.S. Surgeon General, we can tell people with confidence that doing things they are already doing -- like activities of daily living, just a little more vigorously -- can have health benefits," Phillips tells WebMD.

The AMA recommends several creative ways to accumulate moderate exercise: take the stairs (for 5 minutes of exercise), park a few blocks from your destination (for 10 minutes), take a brisk walk after dinner (for 15 minutes), or mow the lawn (for 15-plus minutes).

"In general, I encourage people to look for ways to become more active in their lifestyles during the day, such as by walking more, using the stairs, and going to the bathroom or water cooler on the next floor while at work," Phillips says.

"The bottom line is that anyone can certainly find lots of ways to add extra minutes of walking or activity to their day. It's easy to do this extra stuff."

1 | 2

Healthy Living Tools

Ditch Those Inches

Set goals, tally calorie intake, track workouts and more, all via WebMD’s free Food & Fitness Planner.

Get Started

Today on WebMD

Wet feet on shower floor tile
Flat Abs
Build a Better Butt Slideshow
woman using ice pack

man exercising
7 most effective exercises
Man looking at watch before workout
Overweight man sitting on park bench
6-Week Challenges
Want to know more?
Chill Out and Charge Up Challenge – How to help your tribe de-stress and energize.
Spark Change Challenge - Ready for a healthy change? Get some major motivation.
I have read and agreed to WebMD's Privacy Policy.
Enter cell phone number
- -
Entering your cell phone number and pressing submit indicates you agree to receive text messages from WebMD related to this challenge. WebMD is utilizing a 3rd party vendor, CellTrust, to provide the messages. You can opt out at any time.
Standard text rates apply

pilates instructor
jogger running among flowering plants
woman walking
Taylor Lautner