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What are the [Physical Activity] Guidelines for adults?

Adults should do a minimum of 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity a week by doing activities like brisk walking, ballroom dancing, or general gardening. Adults can choose 1 hour and 15 minutes (75 minutes) a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity by doing exercise like martial arts, jogging, aerobic dancing, and jumping rope. Adults also may choose combinations of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity.

Aerobic activity should be performed in episodes of at least 10 minutes, and preferably spread throughout the week. For additional and more extensive health benefits, adults should increase their aerobic physical activity to 5 hours (300 minutes) a week of moderate-intensity or 2 hours and 30 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity activity. Additional health benefits are gained by engaging in physical activity beyond this amount. Adults should also do muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week to achieve the unique benefits of strengthening activities.

What are the [Physical Activity] Guidelines for children and adolescents?

Children and adolescents aged 6–17 years should accumulate 1 hour or more of physical activity daily. The 1 hour of activity should be mostly aerobic but should also include muscle-strengthening and bone-strengthening activities. Youth should include vigorous-intensity activity in this 1 hour on at least 3 days a week. They should also do muscle-strengthening activities on at least 3 days and bone-strengthening activities on at least 3 days a week. It is important to encourage young people to participate in physical activities that are appropriate for their age, enjoyable, and offer variety. The Guidelines list a number of examples of each type of activity for children and adolescents.

Be Active Your Way is a brochure guide for adult exercise and is available in English and in Spanish.  Click here for the website.

(From U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)

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