The evidence is clear. Adults who get regular physical activity rack up lots of health benefits. Being active can help:

  • Boost your mood and improve your sleep
  • Lower your risk of heart disease and some cancers
  • Help keep diabetes and high blood pressure under control
Adults need a mix of physical activity to stay healthy

Is it moderate or vigorous? Use the “talk test” to find out.

When you’re being active, just try talking:

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

Who came up with these goals?

These recommendations come from the second edition of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. Experts developed these targets based on the latest research showing how physical activity affects our health.

Everyone can benefit from more physical activity.

Physical activity is one of the most important things you can do to improve your health. And no matter who you are, you can find safe, fun ways to get a little more active.

Just getting started? Build up to 150 minutes over time. Even 5 minutes of physical activity has health benefits — and it all adds up.

Pregnant or postpartum? It’s safe and healthy to be active during and after pregnancy — and getting active can make it less likely that you’ll develop health problems like postpartum depression. Listen to your body and do activities that feel right for you.

Have a disability or ongoing health problem? You can adapt activities to fit your abilities — and you may find that physical activity makes everyday life easier. If you have an ongoing health problem, it may even improve your symptoms.

Not feeling steady on your feet? Mix in activities to improve your balance and lower your risk of falls — like tai chi or swimming.

Already get 150 minutes a week? Push yourself harder to get even more health benefits. Go for at least 300 minutes of moderate-intensity activity (or 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity). The more you move, the better!

Don’t forget to work your muscles! At least 2 days a week, do activities that build muscle strength, like lifting weights or using resistance bands.

Or check out the Move Your Way website to find fact sheets, videos, and other resources to help you and your family get moving.