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Benefits of Exercise

Being physically active can improve your health in a number of ways, including:

  • Improved immune system function
  • Improved psychological functioning
  • Improved self-image
  • Helps you stay at or get to a healthy weight
  • Improved circulation
  • Helps manage stress
  • Increased energy levels
  • Decreased chance of depression
  • Helps you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly
  • Increased chance of living longer
  • Increased mobility
  • Stronger muscles and bones
  • Helps you meet new people

How Much Exercise Do I Need?

Adults should engage in at least two-and-a-half hours of moderate physical activity each week, or at least one hour and 15 minutes of vigorous physical activity each week. Each activity should be done for at least 10 minutes at a time, spreading out activities over three or more days for best results. For example, three days of vigorous physical activity for 30 minutes each day, or five days of moderate activity for 30 minutes each day, would both meet physical activity recommendations. Try to alternate between moderate and vigorous physical activities.

Examples of Moderate Physical Activity

Common Chores

  • Washing and waxing a car
  • Washing windows or floors
  • Gardening
  • Pushing a stroller
  • Raking leaves
  • Walking at a pace of 3-4.5 miles per hour
  • Walking stairs

Sporting Activities

  • Volleyball
  • Touch football
  • Basketball
  • Bicycling at a pace of 10 miles per hour
  • Fast social dancing
  • Water aerobics
  • Swimming
  • Jumping rope
  • Running at a pace of 10 minutes per mile
  • Tennis

Examples of Vigorous Physical Activity

Common Chores

  • Chopping wood
  • Climbing and trimming trees
  • Pushing a non-motorized lawn mower
  • Shoveling heavy snow
  • Lifting or pushing heavy furniture
  • Carrying bags of groceries (or a child weighing 25 pounds or more) up a flight of stairs

Sporting Activities

  • Race walking at a pace greater than 4.5 miles per hour
  • Wheeling a wheelchair
  • Mountain climbing
  • Backpacking
  • Bicycling at a pace greater than 10 miles per hour
  • Boxing
  • Tennis
  • Football
  • Soccer
  • Basketball
  • Treading Water

Page last updated: May 13, 2021