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Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans

Posted Jul 29 2009 12:00am
The US Department of Health and Human Services has released new guidelines for physical activity.

Aerobic activities: Make your heart beat faster and can make your heart, lungs, and blood vessels stronger and more fit. Aim for 2 hours and 30 minutes of aerobic activity a week.

Strengthening: Make your muscles do more work than usual. Try this 2 times a week.

How many times a week should I be physically active?
It is best to spread out your exercise over 3 or more days.

How do I build up more physical activity?
Do a little more each time. Then, you can trade activities at a moderate level for vigorous ones that take more effort. Remember, some physical activity is better than none, so even if you can't run a mile at first, building up to that mile is good exercise.

How can I tell if it's a moderate activity?
If you are able to talk while doing it, but not sing.
  • Dancing

  • Tennis

  • Walking briskly

How can I tell if it's a vigorous activity?
If you can only say a few words without stopping to catch your breath.

  • Biking

  • Martial Arts

  • Swimming

  • Jumping Rope

Information courtesy of US Dept. of Health and Human Services

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