Are you fitting in at least 150 minutes (2.5 hours) of heart-pumping physical activity per week? If not, you’re not alone. Only about one in five adults and teens get enough exercise to maintain good health. Being more active can help all people think, feel, and sleep better and perform daily tasks more easily. And if you’re sedentary, sitting less is a great place to start. The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity (or a combination of both), preferable spread throughout the week.
Move More More, Sit Less
Get up and move throughout the day, any activity is better than none. Even light-intensity activity can offset the serious health risks of being sedentary.
Moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise is best. Your heart will beat faster, and you’ll breathe harder than normal. As you get used to being more active, increase your time and/or intensity to get more beneﬁts.
What is intensity? Physical activity is anything that moves your body and burns calories. This includes things like walking, climbing stairs and stretching. Aerobic (or “cardio”) activity gets your heart rate up and benefits your heart by improving cardiorespiratory fitness. When done at moderate intensity, your heart will beat faster and you’ll breathe harder than normal, but you’ll still be able to talk. Think of it as a medium or moderate amount of effort.
Examples of moderate-intensity aerobic activities: brisk walking (at least 2.5 miles per hour) water aerobics dancing (ballroom or social) gardening tennis (doubles) biking slower than 10 miles per hour Vigorous intensity activities will push your body a little further. They will require a higher amount of effort. You’ll probably get warm and begin to sweat. You won’t be able to talk much without getting out of breath.
Examples of vigorous-intensity aerobic activities: hiking uphill or with a heavy backpack running swimming laps aerobic dancing heavy yardwork like continuous digging or hoeing tennis (singles) cycling 10 miles per hour or faster jumping rope
Include moderate- to high-intensity muscle-strengthening activity (like resistance or weight training) at least twice a week.
Physical activity is one of the best ways to keep your body and brain healthy. It relieves stress, improves mood, gives you energy, helps with sleep and can lower your risk of chronic disease, including dementia and depression.