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Physical activity, along with other healthy lifestyle choices such as healthy eating, can lead to benefits such as lowering high blood pressure, helping control weight and reducing the risk for other chronic diseases including cancer, diabetes, stroke and heart disease. Follow these steps from the CDC Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans to easily incorporate active living into your everyday routine!

Children (age 6-17)

Children and adolescents should do 60 minutes (1 hour) or more of physical activity each day.

Aerobic Activity: Most of your child's 60 minutes of daily physical activity should be aerobic physical activity. Playing tag, running, and participating in sports, such as soccer, karate and tennis, are examples of aerobic physical activity.

Muscle Strengthening: Children should do age-appropriate muscle-strengthening at least 3 days per week. Some examples include: playing tug of war, push-ups, pull-ups and lifting weights.

Bone Strengthening: It is important to also include bone strengthening physical activity at least 3 days per week. Some examples include playing hop-scotch, jumping rope and running.

Adults (age 18-64)

Adults need at least 2 hours and 30 minutes (150 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (i.e., brisk walking) every week and muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms).

10 Minutes at a Time is Fine!

You can spread your activity out during the week, so you don't have to do it all at once. You can even break it up into smaller chunks of time during the day. It's about what works best for you, as long as you're doing physical activity at a moderate or vigorous effort for at least 10 minutes at a time.

Be Active at Work

  • Walk during breaks or at lunchtime.
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator.
  • Ride your bike to work.
  • Park your car farther away from the entrance and walk.

Be Active at Home

  • Take family walks in the evening after dinner.
  • Play with your kids — dance, jump rope, play tag or hide-and-go-seek.
  • Limit screen time to two hours or less each day. This includes TV, computers, and video games.
  • Exercise while watching TV. Challenge family members to crunches and push-ups.

Older Adults (65 years and older)

If you're 65 years of age or older, are generally fit, and have no limiting health conditions you can follow the guidelines listed above for adults 18-64.


Page updated 09/10/2014