From the Experts


An expert panel from the Centers for Disease Control and the American College of Sports Medicine recommend that every US adult accumulate 30 minutes or more of moderate-intensity physical activity (that is, enough to burn 200 calories daily) on most days of the week. The objective of the recommendation is to encourage more participation in physical activity among everyone. An important aspect of the recommendation is that short bouts of activity are fine, as long as the total equals 30 minutes. The benefits of 30 minutes of physical activity daily include a lower risk of chronic disease and increases in fitness.

If you are more interested in vigorous physical activities that target the development and maintenance of cardiovascular and respiratory fitness, then the recommendation is more specific than accumulating 30 minutes of activity. The aerobic endurance activities should be performed three or more days each week for 20 minutes or more at a level of intensity that challenges you.

Experts also recommend incorporating activities that build the strength of your muscles. These are known as resistance or strength training activities. In addition to the benefits for your muscles, strength training helps your bones and your weight. Strength training is recommended two to three days a week with 1–2 days of rest in between strength training days.

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