Be Active Be Active
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans provide the latest information on the types and amounts of physical activity needed to gain important health benefits. Not only can being active reduce your risk of many long-term health conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes, but it also can increase your chances of living longer, help you control your weight, improve the way you feel, and even help you sleep better.
The main messages of the Guidelines are—
Regular activity reduces risk of many adverse health outcomes. For all individuals, some activity is better than none, but more is better. Added health benefits generally occur as the amount of activity increases. Physical activity is safe for almost everyone. The health benefits of physical activity far outweigh the risks. How Much Physical Activity Do You Need To Do?
The Guidelines offer specific recommendations for adults, older adults, children and adolescents, as well as people with special considerations. Science shows that for important health benefits, most adults need:
At a minimum, 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) each week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (such as brisk walking); or, 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes) each week of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity (such as jogging or running); or, an equivalent mix of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity. Activity should preferably be spread throughout the week, and done for at least 10 minutes at a time. AND muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days each week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms).
For additional health benefits, adults should work up to 300 minutes (5 hours) each week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity. Or, 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) each week of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity. Or, an equivalent mix of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity. Physical activity beyond this amount may provide additional benefits.
CDC, a key partner in developing and writing the Physical Activity Guidelines, has re-designed and updated the Physical Activity for Everyone Web site with examples and tools to help you better understand how much activity you need to do on a consistent basis; how to begin a sensible routine; and, how to be active your way by finding activities you enjoy and fit into your lifestyle. By following the Physical Activity Guidelines, you can be active, healthy and happy!