Adults should do at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic (cardiovascular) activity per week. For more health benefits, you can do 300 minutes per week.
Your program should have:
This puts your heart and lungs to work by moving large muscles in the legs and buttocks. You can do this through:
Strength Training (Resistance) Exercise
This builds lean muscle mass, which makes your muscles and bones stronger. It can be done through:
Weight lifting using:
- Free weights
- Weight machines
- Elastic bands
- Body weight exercises, such as push ups or chin ups
Stretching can improve:
- Range of motion
- Blood flow
Here are some tips to stretch safely:
- Spend at least 5 to 10 minutes warming up your muscles before stretching. This can be done walking or swinging your arms
- Start each stretch slowly, breathing out as you stretch the muscle.
- Hold each stretch for 10 to 30 seconds.
Make sure you do not:
- Bounce during a stretch
- Stretch a muscle that is not warmed up
- Strain or push a muscle too far
- Hold your breath while stretching
Before you start, check with your doctor about any problems that would limit your workout program.
Think about setting up some time with a certified athletic trainer to make a safe and effective program that you will enjoy. You can find a trainer at a local gym or through your doctor or a friend. Make sure this person understands your goals and can help you create exercise program that you will enjoy and stick with.
American Council on Exercise http://www.acefitness.org
American Heart Association http://www.heart.org
Canada Safety Council http://safety-council.org
Public Health Agency of Canada http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca
2018 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. United States Department of Health and Human Services website. Available at: https://health.gov/sites/default/files/2019-09/Physical%5FActivity%5FGuidelines%5F2nd%5Fedition.pdf. Accessed April 23, 2020.
Exercise: how to get started. American Academy of Family Physicians website. Am Fam Physician. 2006 Dec 15;74(12):2095-2096. Available at: http://www.aafp.org/afp/20061215/2095ph.html. Accessed April 23, 2020.
- Reviewer: EBSCO Medical Review Board
- Review Date: 04/2020
- Update Date: 04/23/2020