Content Courtesy of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
While exercise may sound intimidating to some people, it doesn’t
have to be. Any type and amount of activity is better than none and there
are so many enjoyable ways to get moving.
In order to “move more and sit less”, as the new physical activity
guidelines recommend, it’s important to find activities that you enjoy!
If you like group activities, you can look into virtual classes or those
that can be done at a safe distance inside or outdoors. If you prefer
being active alone, consider rollerblading, lifting weights or yoga.
Finding time may also be a struggle but being more active can be as simple
as taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking further away, walking
or riding a bicycle to the store and cleaning the house or working in the yard.
It’s important to choose activities that match your abilities*. If
you’ve never run a mile, it would be better to work up to that goal
before training for a marathon. Set realistic goals to avoid risking an
injury or becoming discouraged and less active.
For adults, the recommendation is 150 minutes or more of moderate-intensity
physical activity each week. This could be as simple as brisk walking for 25 minutes six days per week.
Another option would be to walk briskly for only 15 minutes at a time,
but twice a day for five days.
To realize the most health benefits, physical activity should be done regularly
– meaning most days of the week. How often, how long and the intensity
of the activity can make a difference, too.
Research has shown that regular physical activity can lead to better health,
including a reduced risk for many chronic diseases, such as heart disease,
high blood pressure and diabetes.
Aerobic activities, such as brisk walking or bicycling, are important for cardiovascular health,
because they work out your heart.
Muscle-strengthening activities include some type of resistance, such as weights, elastic bands or your
own body weight. Activities that help you increase the strength of different
muscles is recommended two times or more per week.
Both aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities may also offer
bone-strengthening benefits. Activities that involve stretching can help to increase flexibility,
or the range of motion for joints.
In order to stay active, find activities that you enjoy. Try these tips
to get started:
- Plan ways to gradually increase your physical activity. This could involve
setting reminders to move more throughout the day or by scheduling times
to be active during the week.
- Think about the best time for physical activity. Some people prefer to
be active in the morning, whereas others dedicate time midday or after
school or work.
- Decide how you want to be active. Walking is convenient for many people.
However, others may choose to participate in organized sports or specific
For more information, check out the Move Your Way website at
*For people who are sedentary or have chronic diseases or disabilities,
check with your health care provider before increasing physical activity.
For a referral to a registered dietitian nutritionist and for additional
food and nutrition information, visit