An active lifestyle is central to good health. Engaging in regular physical activity and reducing sedentary habits such as television viewing, can play a key role in achieving a healthy body weight, building and maintaining healthy muscles, bones and joints, and improve mental health related to stress and depression. Incorporating movement into the daily routine, even in several 10 minute bouts of moderate intensity activity, can help to lower the risks associated with chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and some cancers.

Guidelines

Adult (18-65 Years of Age) and Older Adult (65+ Years of Age) Guidelines:

According to the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, adults and older adults enjoy a long list of benefits of an active lifestyle. For substantial health benefits for adults and older adults, the Guidelines indicate: All adults should avoid inactivity and adults who participate in any amount of physical activity gain some health benefits.

Adults should do at least 2.5 hours (150 minutes) of moderate intensity activity or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity or an equivalent combination of both per week.

For additional and more extensive health benefits adults should increase their aerobic activity to 5 hours (300 minutes) of moderate intensity or 150 minutes of vigorous intensity physical activity or an equivalent combination of both per week.

The Guidelines also recommend that adults do muscle strengthening activities that involve all major muscle groups on two or more days per week and older adults should do exercises that maintain or improve balance if they are at risk for falling.

Children and Adolescents
According to the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, children and adolescents enjoy a long list of benefits of a daily active lifestyle. For substantial health benefits for children and adolescents, the Guidelines indicate: All children and adolescents should participate in at least 60 minutes or more per day of aerobic activity with most of activity as moderate intensity and participate in vigorous intensity activities on at least three days per week. Muscle strengthening and bone strengthening activities should be included at least three days per week.

Physical activity can be incorporated in several different venues; including schools, worksites, early care and education, and the community. Please follow the links below to learn more.