Physical Activity Guidelines for Adults

The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend that adults should move more and sit less. However, any physical activity is better than none, as even five minutes of physical activity has immediate health benefits.

Adult Recommendations

Aim for 150 Minutes. Be physically active for at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity physical activity or 75 minutes to 150 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity physical activity per week.

Moderate-intensity physical activity includes activities such as a brisk walk, playing tennis or raking the yard.

Vigorous-intensity physical activity includes activities such as running, jogging, carrying heavy groceries upstairs, shoveling snow or participating in a strenuous fitness class.

Don’t forget to strengthen! Incorporate muscle-strengthening activities two or more days a week for all major muscle groups. This includes activities such as lifting weights, using elastic bands, doing push-ups or certain types of yoga.

Mix it up.  Adults should combine both moderate-intensity and vigorous-intensity physical activity and spread activities throughout the week.

Health Benefits of Physical Activity

  • Brain health benefits, including possible improved cognitive function, reduced anxiety and depression risk, improved sleep and improved quality of life
  • Reduced chance of developing coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, obesity, hypertension, osteoporosis and many types of cancer
  • If adults are able to, they should participate in more than 300 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week to achieve additional health benefits

Safety Tips

Physical activity can be safely done by almost everyone. However, adults should be under the care of a health care provider if they have chronic conditions to see what physical activity would be most appropriate.

Choose activities that fit your level of fitness and health goals. Remember to increase physical activity gradually with low intensity activities and slowly moving to more intense activities. Always use appropriate sports and protective equipment to stay safe in your chosen physical activity!