What is fitness?
Fitness means being able to
perform physical activity. It also means having the energy and strength to feel
as good as possible. Getting more fit, even a little bit, can improve your
You don't have to be an athlete to be fit. Athletes reach
a very high level of fitness. And people who take brisk half-hour walks every
day reach a good level of fitness. Even people who can't do that much can work
toward some level of fitness that helps them feel better and have more
This topic focuses on health-related fitness, which helps
you feel your best and lowers your risk for certain diseases. Making small
changes in your daily lifestyle helps you improve your fitness.
What are the benefits of fitness?
you feel better and have more energy for work and leisure time. You'll feel
more able to do things like playing with your kids, gardening, dancing, or
biking. Children and teens who are fit may have more energy and better focus at
When you stay active and fit, you burn more calories,
even when you're at rest. Being fit lets you do more physical activity. And it
lets you exercise harder without as much work. It can also help you manage
Improving your fitness is good for
your heart, lungs, bones, muscles, and joints. And it lowers your risk for falls, heart attack,
high blood pressure, and some cancers. If
you already have one or more of these problems, getting more fit may help you
control other health problems and make you feel better.
Being more fit also can help you to sleep better,
stress better, and keep your mind sharp.
How much physical activity do you need for health-related fitness?
Experts say your goal should be one, or a combination, of
- Do some sort of moderate aerobic activity, like brisk
walking, for at least 2� hours each week. You can spread out these 150 minutes
any way you like. For example, you could:
- Take a half-hour walk 3 days a week, and
on the other 4 days take a 15-minute walk.
- Take a 45-minute walk every other day.
- Or do more
vigorous activities, like
running, for at least 1� hours a week. This
activity makes you breathe harder and have a much faster
heartbeat than when you are resting. Again,
you can spread out these 75 minutes any way you like. For example, you
- Run for 25 minutes 3 times
- Run for 15 minutes 5 times a week.
Children need more activity. Encourage your child (ages 6 to 17) to do
moderate to vigorous activity at least 1 hour every day.