Fitness: Getting and Staying Active - Topic Overview
What types of physical activity improve fitness?
The activities you choose depend on which kind of fitness you want to
improve. There are three different kinds of fitness:
Aerobic fitness makes you breathe faster and makes your heart work harder for a while. Aerobic activities include walking, running, cycling, and swimming. Aerobic fitness is also called cardio or cardiovascular training.
Muscle fitness (strength) means building stronger muscles and
increasing how long you can use them. Activities like weight
lifting and push-ups can improve your muscular
Flexibility is the ability to move your joints and
muscles through their full range of motion.
Stretching is an exercise that helps you to be more
How can you be more physically active?
Moderate physical activity is safe for most people. But it's always a
good idea to
talk to your doctor before becoming more active, especially if you
haven't been very active or have health problems.
If you're ready
to add more physical activity to your life, here are some tips to get you
Make physical activity part of your regular day.
Make a regular habit of using stairs, not elevators, and walking to do errands near your home.
Start walking. Walking is a
great fitness activity that most people can start doing. Make it a habit to take a daily walk with
family members, friends, coworkers, or pets.
Find an activity partner. This can make exercising more
Find an activity that you enjoy, and stay with it. Vary it with
other activities so you don't get bored.
Interactive Tool: How Many Calories Did You Burn? to
find out how many calories you burn during exercise and daily
One Woman's Story:
"I knew I needed to do something. I felt
like all my muscles were starting to atrophy. Now I feel like I'm so much more
toned. I'm not buff, but I'm toned. I can definitely feel the