A woman running

Did you know that physical activity can help you feel better right away?

  • Boosts your mood
  • Sharpens your focus
  • Reduces your stress
  • Improves your sleep

So get more active and start feeling better today.

How much activity do I need?

Moderate-intensity aerobic activity

  • Anything that gets your heart beating faster counts.
  • At least 150 minutes a week.

Muscle-strengthening activity

  • Do activities that make your muscles work harder than usual.
  • At least 2 days a week

Tight on time this week? Start with just 5 minutes. It all adds up!

Or get the same benefits in half the time. If you step it up to vigorous-intensity aerobic activity, aim for at least 75 minutes a week.
Is it moderate or vigorous? Use the talk test to find out. When you are being active, just try talking:

  • If you are breathing hard but can still have a conversation easily, it is moderate- intensity activity
  • If you can only say a few words before you have to take a breath, it is vigorous-intensity activity

What counts?

Whatever gets you moving! Even things you have to do anyway or things that do not feel like exercise, you can get more active. No matter who you are, where you live, on your own, or together. You can find a way that works for you. And over time, physical activity can help you live a longer, healthier life.

  • Lower your risk of diseases like type 2 diabetes and some cancers
  • Control your blood pressure
  • Stay at a healthy weight

So take the first step. Get a little more active each day. Move your way.

Find tips to get moving and build a weekly activity plan by visiting Move Your Way

Department of Health and Human Services

Lindsay, A. 2011, Move Your Way, Department of Health and Human Services

Learn more about the author(s)


Also of Interest:

How to leverage your state's land grant Extension system: Partnering to promote physical activity.
The purpose of this manuscript is to describe Extension and provide case studies on physical activity promotion within this setting.
Harden, S., Gunter, K., Lindsay, A. R. 2018, Translational Journal of the American College of Sports Medicine 3(15):113-118
Field assessment for obesity prevention in children and parents: Physical activity, fitness and body composition.
This report will assist educators in identifying and selecting appropriate field-based assessments for measurement of PA, physical fitness, and body composition for children and adults. Specific guidelines, references, and resources are given for selecting assessment methods and ...
Lindsay, A., Hongu, K., Spears, K., Dyrek, A. & Manore, M. 2014, Journal of Nutrition Education Behavior 46 (1):43-53. doi: 10.1016/j.jneb.2013.03.013
Breathing Exercises for Stress Reduction
This fact sheet lists out several breathing exercises for anyone to reduce stress.
Huluwazu, P. and Daugherty, W. 2001, Extension | University of Nevada, Reno, FS-01-61

Associated Programs

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Healthy Kids Resource Center

A one-stop shop for evidence-based research, resources, curricula, activities and materials that focus on obesity prevention for teachers and parents of young children. It is designed to educate parents and teachers as well as provide the tools needed to teach young children how to live a healthy lifestyle.

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Healthy Kids - Physical Activity Toolbox

The toolkit will assist parents, child care providers and teachers with integrating physical activity throughout each day and providing programming that helps children meet age-level physical activity recommendations.