Fit Physical Activity into Your Life, Your Way

The more you do, the more benefits you gain.

exercise outsideAdults gain substantial health benefits from two hours and 30 minutes a week of moderate aerobic physical activity, and children benefit from an hour or more of physical activity a day, according to the new Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. On October 7, 2008, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, a comprehensive set of recommendations for people of all ages and physical conditions.

The comprehensive, science-based guidelines were developed to inform policymakers and health providers about the amounts, types, and intensity of physical activity needed to help Americans aged 6 and older improve their health and reduce their risk of chronic diseases.

The Guidelines set achievable goals for everyone and can be customized according to a person’s interests, lifestyle, and goals. Regular physical activity over months and years produces long-term health benefits and reduces the risk of many diseases. The more physically active you are, the more health benefits you gain.

A main message of the Guidelines is that for inactive persons some activity is better than none. Persons who have been inactive for some time are encouraged to start at a comfortable level and add a little more activity as they go along. For most health outcomes, additional benefits occur as the amount of physical activity increases through higher intensity, greater frequency, and /or more time per session. Both aerobic (endurance) and muscle-strengthening (resistance) activities are beneficial and are included as part of the Guidelines.

Resources also are available for the public including the booklet, Be Active Your Way, A Guide to Adults.

For More Information:
Easy-to-use information about the Guidelines is available online at To access the guidelines and to find links to other resources for professionals, visit and