People spend a lot of time sitting in front of computers, desks, hand-held devices, and TVs. Break up your day by moving around more and getting regular aerobic activity that makes you sweat and breathe faster.
- Get 150 to 300 minutes of moderately intense or vigorous physical activity each week. Basketball, brisk walks, hikes, hula hoops, runs, soccer, tennis – choose whatever you enjoy best! Even 10 minutes of activity at a time can add up over the week.
- Strengthen your muscles at least twice a week. Do push-ups or pull-ups, lift weights, do heavy gardening, or work with rubber resistance bands.
Physical Activity Myths
Myth: Lifting weights is not a good way to lose weight because it will make me “bulk up.”
Fact: Lifting weights or doing activities like push-ups and crunches on a regular basis can help you build strong muscles, which can help you burn more calories. To strengthen muscles, you can lift weights, use large rubber bands (resistance bands), do push-ups or sit-ups, or do household or yard tasks that make you lift or dig. Doing strengthening activities 2 or 3 days a week will not “bulk you up.” Only intense strength training, along with certain genetics, can build large muscles.
TIP: Government guidelines for physical activity recommend that adults should do activities at least two times a week to strengthen muscles. The guidelines also suggest that adults should get 150 to 300 minutes of moderately intense or vigorous aerobic activity each week—like brisk walking or biking. Aerobic activity makes you sweat and breathe faster.
For more on the benefits of physical activity and tips on how to be more active, check out the Government’s guidelines for physical activity (see the For More Information section).
Myth: Physical activity only counts if I can do it for long periods of time.
Fact: You do not need to be active for long periods to achieve your 150 to 300 minutes of activity each week. Experts advise doing aerobic activity for periods of 10 minutes or longer at a time. You can spread these sessions out over the week.
TIP: Plan to do at least 10 minutes of physical activity three times a day on 5 or more days a week. This will help you meet the 150-minute goal. While at work, take a brief walking break. Use the stairs. Get off the bus one stop early. Go dancing with friends. Whether for a short or long period, bursts of activity may add up to the total amount of physical activity you need each week.