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Get Your Body Moving

What This Means

To maintain health and physical fitness, experts recommend:

Getting your heart pumping with cardiovascular activities click plus sign to expand and minus sign to minimize
  • Get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity 5 or more days a week, OR
  • Get at least 20 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity 3 or more days a week

Moderate-intensity Activities
Your heart rate is up and you break a sweat, but you can still carry on a conversation.

Examples of moderate-intensity activities:

  • Brisk walking—aim for 1 mile in 15 minutes or 100 steps/minute
  • Ballroom or line dancing

Vigorous-intensity Activities
Your heart rate and breathing are much higher, so talking is difficult, and you are likely sweating.

Examples of vigorous-intensity activities:

  • Running or jogging
  • Aerobic dancing (e.g., Zumba)

Try This!

Commit to doing 20 to 30 minutes of moderate or vigorous activity at least one day this week.

Improving muscle tone and fitness through strength training click plus sign to expand and minus sign to minimize
  • Do 8 to 10 strength training exercises for each of the major muscle groups, 8 to 12 repetitions of each.
  • Major muscle groups include the arms, legs, back, and chest.
  • Aim for 2 or more days a week.

Strength training is any practice or exercise specifically designed to increase muscle strength. This might involve free weights, resistance bands, or good old fashioned push-ups or leg lifts.

Examples of strength training activities

  • Bicep curl
  • Squats and lunges
  • Push-ups

Try This!

Use your strength training time more efficiently by alternating muscle groups between sets. For example, once you’ve done 8 to 12 repetitions on a bicep curl, do some squats while your arms recover before your next set.

Stretching and connecting with your body click plus sign to expand and minus sign to minimize
  • Do 20 to 30 minutes of stretching activities at least 2 to 3 days a week.
  • Stretch each major muscle group for a minimum of 10 seconds, accumulating a total of 60 seconds.

Static stretching involves slowly stretching the muscle while holding for a period of time. Before stretching, do a brief warm up, like a brisk five-minute walk. Ease into it: stretch to where it feels tight, but not painful.

Examples of stretching activities

  • Yoga or Tai Chi for 30 minutes
  • Calf and hamstring stretch (sit on the floor with your feet straight out in front of you and reach for your toes)
  • Stretch your chest and shoulders (clasp both hands behind your back until you feel a gentle pull).

Try This!

Break up your work day or evening TV routine by taking 10 to 20 minutes to stretch.

**Note: These recommendations are the minimum for achieving a healthy level of fitness. It takes more activity to maintain or lose weight. Consult your physician before beginning a new exercise program.

What This Helps You Do

  • Reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer
  • Improve mood and increase energy
  • Feel good about yourself and your body
  • Manage stress and improve sleep quality

Checkout our tips on what to expect as you get your body moving.

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Active More Powerful You..
Get Your Body Moving
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Eating Healthier
Portion Size
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Importance of Sleep
Dealing With Stress
Ways to Relax
Tough Stuff
The Blues & Blahs
Your Social Network
Digital Age