Physical Activity Basics
The evidence is clear—physical activity can make you feel better, function better, and sleep better. Even one session of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity reduces anxiety, and even short bouts of physical activity are beneficial. Being physically active also fosters normal growth and development, improves overall health, can reduce the risk of various chronic diseases.
While it may be difficult to remain physically active while social distancing, it is possible and important. See ideas for chair exercises, stretches, dances and more.
Learn how physical activity can improve overall health for everyone, no matter age, ability or physical shape.
Are you having trouble being physically active? Learn how to overcome barriers to being physically active.
Physical Activity Recommendations for Different Age Groups
Active people generally live longer and are at less risk for chronic disease. Learn more about the immediate benefits of physical activity.
Measure Your Progress
Learn how to measure your physical fitness level and progress toward your fitness goals over time.
The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2nd editionexternal icon outlines the amounts and types of physical activity needed to maintain or improve overall health and reduce the risk of chronic disease. It also highlights individual and community-level strategies that can make being physically active easier in the places where people live, learn, work, and play.
Other Benefits of Physical Activity
- Benefits for Brain Health (Chapter 2, pg. 39)pdf iconexternal icon [PDF-15.2MB]
- Immediate Benefits (Chapter 2, pg. 31)pdf iconexternal icon [PDF-15.2MB]
- Top 10 Things to Know About the Second Edition of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.external icon
- The Move Your WaySM campaign resourcesexternal icon are designed to help further explain the Guidelines. These include interactive tools, fact sheets, videos, and graphics that are available for communities, health professionals, and others to promote the health benefits of meeting the new recommendations along with tips for how to help people become more active.