Get Moving

Your body was designed for movement. Too many Americans, though, aren’t getting the right amount of physical activity they need to be healthy.

How Much Physical Activity Do You Need?

Here are the American College of Sports Medicine's guidelines for fitness:

Exercise Category Frequency
(times per week)
Intensity Duration
Cardiorespiratory

5 days

3 days

Moderate

Vigorous

30-60  minutes

20-60 minutes

 

(Adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week. One continuous session and multiple shorter sessions of at least 10 minutes are acceptable.)

Resistance

2-3 days

*Very light or light 8-20 repetitions
 

(Train each major muscle group. *Very light or light intensity is best for older individuals or previously sedentary adults just starting to exercise.)

Flexibility

2-3 days

10-30 seconds/stretch 2-4 times/stretch
 

(Each stretch should be held to the point of tightness or slight discomfort. Accumulate 60 seconds per stretch.)

Neuromotor

2-3 days

20-30 minutes
 

("Functional fitness training" involves motor skills: balance, agility, coordination, and gait.)

Here’s what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend for adults age 18 to 64:

  • 150 minutes of moderate activity (brisk walking) every week
  • Muscle-strengthening activities two or more days a week that work all major muscle groups


That might seem daunting at first, especially if you’re not used to physical activity. The CDC recommends starting slowly, breaking those minutes into smaller chunks throughout the week.  Maybe you can do a 10-minute walk, three times a day, five days a week. You could try taking the stairs at work instead of the elevator or walking to get lunch, instead of driving.

Join the President’s Challenge

Another way to make physical activity part of your life is to choose a fitness regimen through the President’s Challenge, a program of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition. With easy-to-use tracking tools, nutrition tips, and even prizes, the President’s Challenge is perfect for fitness rookies or veterans.

Exercises for Desk Dwellers

Don’t let your desk job get in the way of physical activity. There are plenty of ways to stay fit while staying put. Check out:

Note: Please be sure to consult your primary care provider before starting any physical activity program or if you have existing health concerns.