Regular physical activity benefits your health. Any physical activity is better than not exercising at all. The Physical Activity Guidelines can help you plan how much physical activity you can do each week. Learn ways to get started, and talk to your doctor or nurse about how to make physical activity part of your life.
How much physical activity should I do?
Researchers know that the more physical activity you do, the greater the health benefits you get. The more time you spend being active each week, the lower your risk of dying young.1
The Physical Activity Guidelines suggest that each week , women should do at least:
- 2 hours and 30 minutes (150 minutes) of moderate to intense aerobic physical activity. You know you are doing moderate to vigorous activity when your heart is beating faster, but you can still strike up a conversation. Try a brisk walk for 30 minutes, five times a week.
- 1 hour and 15 minutes (75 minutes) of vigorous aerobic activity. You know that you are doing vigorous physical activity when you are breathing heavily and you are unable to carry on a conversation. This could be a jog for 40 minutes or an aerobic class, twice a week.
- A combination of vigorous and moderate intensity aerobic activity
- Muscle-strengthening activities for two or more days
Your goal should be these amounts, but any physical activity is better than none at all. Try to separate your activity throughout the week, so that you are active for at least three days. You should be active for at least 10 minutes at a time to reap the benefits for your health.
Physical activity should be in addition to normal activities of daily living, such as cleaning, walking to the parking lot, or taking public transportation.
Here are some tips to get started:
- Move in your home. You don’t have to leave your home to be active. Try a free exercise video on demand, a free online exercise video, or a DVD from your local library.
- Choose activities like swimming or riding a stationary bike if your feet or joints hurt from standing. These activities put less strain on the joints because the legs do not have to support body weight. Ask your doctor or nurse to help you plan an appropriate physical activity for you.
- Physical activity doesn’t have to be strenuous or boring to be healthy. Any activity that keeps you moving, even for just a few minutes a day, is a good start. Being physically active on a regular basis can make a difference in your health.