These are “aerobic” activities, which raise your heart rate. You can pick how hard it is.
If you want to stick to moderate activity, aim for 150 minutes of these activities each week. That could be 30 minutes a day, five times a week, for example. If you’re not active now, start with just a few minutes a day and add more time.
If you’re only going to do vigorous activities, you can cut the time in half, down to 75 minutes a week of these activities.
It’s also fine to combine moderate and vigorous exercise. You could make some days harder or easier, or do both in a workout.
These moves challenge your muscles with resistance. You might use hand weights, your own body weight, or resistance bands.
Exercises that count as muscle-strengthening include:
- Climbing (rope, tree, gym climbing wall)
- Resistance band training
- Weight lifting
- Pushups, pullups, situps, and other body-weight exercises
- Heavy gardening like digging, carrying, and shoveling
- Some more strenuous types of yoga or Pilates
Aim to work the major muscle groups in the body -- back, chest, arms, legs, glutes, and abs -- at least twice a week.
To get the most benefit, try to push your muscles to fatigue -- that means until it’s hard to repeat the movement while maintaining good form. There are three ways to do this:
- Raise the weight or resistance of an exercise so that you run out of steam sooner, typically eight to 15 repetitions, or “reps.”
- Raise the number of reps to the point where you start to get tired.
- Raise the number of sets that you do. (A set is a group of reps that you do without rest.)
Warm up first.
If you don’t, you’re more likely to get injured. Simple things, like brisk walking or jumping jacks, will do. Then start with a low weight and work your way up slowly. Don’t add weight too quickly or overdo it. You don’t want to get injured.
Check your form.
You want to do the moves correctly to help prevent injury and get the most benefit. Consult a certified personal trainer if you’re unsure about the best way to do these moves.
Allow for recovery.
This is actually when your muscles get stronger, repairing the strain from strength training. It’s best to give each muscle group 48 hours to rest and recover before you work them again.