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Adding Physical Activity to Your Life

For more help with getting started, watch this video:
Aerobic activity - what counts? video

Windows Media Player, 8:25
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There are a lot of ways to get the physical activity you need!

If you're thinking, "How can I meet the guidelines each week?" don't worry. You'll be surprised by the variety of activities you have to choose from. To meet the guidelines for aerobic activity, basically anything counts, as long as it's done at a moderate- or vigorous-intensity for at least 10 minutes at a time.

Stick With It

By picking physical activities you enjoy and that match your abilities, it will help ensure that you stick with them. If you're not sure where to start, here are some examples.

Example 1: Moderate Intensity Activity and Muscle Strengthening Activity
Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
30 minute brisk walk
walking
30 minute brisk walk
walking
30 minute brisk walk
walking
Weight training
weight training
30 minute brisk walk
walking
30 minute brisk walk
walking
Weight training
weight training
Total: 150 minutes moderate-intensity aerobic activity
+ 2 days muscle-strengthening activity

Example 2: Vigorous Intensity Activity and Muscle Strengthening Activity
Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
25 minute jog
jogging
25 minute jog
and weight training
jogging weight training
Weight training
weight training
25 minute jog
jogging
Total: 75 minutes vigorous-intensity aerobic activity
+ 2 days muscle-strengthening activity

Example 3: Mix of Moderate & Vigorous Intensity Activity and Muscle Strengthening Activity
Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
30 minute brisk walk
walking
15 minute jog
jogging
Weight training
weight training
30 minute brisk walk
walking
Weight training
weight training
15 minute jog
jogging
30 minute brisk walk
walking
Total: The equivalent of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity
+ 2 days muscle-strengthening activity

When to Check With Your Doctor

Doing activity that requires moderate effort is safe for most people. But if you have a chronic health condition such as heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, or other symptoms be sure to talk with your doctor about the types and amounts of physical activity that are right for you.

Need more examples?

See this print-friendly brochure [PDF-24KB], and check out our video page for lots of specific examples of muscle strengthening exercises, both at home and in the gym.

See our Personal Stories for more.

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