two adults riding bikes

Most people know that being physically active is important to improve overall health and fitness, but it can make your daily life better. Here are some benefits of getting more active that will help you start feeling better right away:

  • Boost your mood
  • Sharpen your focus
  • Reduce your stress
  • Improve your sleep

What is Physical Activity?

Terms such as physical activity, exercise, and physical fitness have often been used interchangeably, but is there a difference? Yes! Check out these definitions from the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans:

  • Physical activity refers to any bodily movement produced by the contraction of skeletal muscle that increases energy expenditure above a basal level.
  • Exercise is a form of physical activity that is planned, structured, repetitive, and performed with the goal of improving health or fitness. All exercise is physical activity, but not all physical activity is exercise.
  • Physical fitness (also known as fitness) is the ability to carry out daily tasks with vigor and alertness, without undue fatigue, and with ample energy to enjoy leisure-time pursuits and respond to emergencies. Physical fitness includes several components: cardiorespiratory fitness (endurance or aerobic power), musculoskeletal fitness, flexibility, balance, and speed of movement.

How Much Physical Activity Do You Need?

  • Adults

    Adults (18-64 years) need at least 150 minutes a week of moderate intensity activity such as brisk walking and at least 2 days a week of activities that strengthen muscles.

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  • Older Adults

    Older adults (65 years and older) have the same recommendations as adults plus activities to improve balance such as standing on one foot. Walking is a great way to get aerobic activity.

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  • Kids & Teens

    Kids and teens (6-17 years) need 60 minutes of physical activity every day and at least 3 days a week of muscle-strengthening and bone-strengthening activities.

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Workout at Home

Each workout has suggested equipment and easy-to-use instructions for completing an exercise or two, or an entire workout. If you are not regularly active, it is recommended to consult with a physician before starting physical activity.

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