Part 3 - Keeping It Up, Stepping It Up
Good habits . . . "My friends and I have been walking
at the mall 4 mornings a week for the past 6 months. We walk
for 45 minutes each time, for a total of 3 hours a week. Our
goal is to reach 5 hours a week. Sure, some mornings it is
tough to get out of bed early to walk. But once I'm there,
I am glad."
Adding more time . . . Already doing 2 hours and 30 minutes
a week of aerobic physical activity? Good for you! Do you
want to gain even more health benefits from physical activity?
Slowly add more time to your weekly routine.
Strive to double your weekly activity time. Work to be active
5 or more hours each week. This activity level can lower your
chances of getting breast and colon cancer. Read the next
section to find out how to add more effort.
Gaining more health benefits!
Advice to follow: To get more health benefits, add more
time of aerobic physical activity.
Try to move from 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-level
activities a week to 5 hours or more a week.
Adding more effort . . . Instead of doing only moderate-level
activities, replace some with vigorous aerobic activities
that will make your heart beat even faster. Adding vigorous
activities provides benefits in less activity time. In general,
15 minutes of vigorous activity provides the same benefits
as 30 minutes of moderate activity.
Have you been walking for 30 minutes 5 days a week? On 2
days, try jogging instead of walking for 15 minutes each time.
Keep on walking for 30 minutes on the other 3 days.
Would you like to have stronger muscles? If you have been
doing strengthening activities 2 days a week, try adding an
Mix it up!
You can do all moderate activities, all vigorous activities,
or some of each. You should always start with moderate activities
and then add vigorous activities little by little.
To mix it up, you can try 30 minutes of biking fast to and
from your job 3 days a week. Then play softball for 60 minutes
1 day. Then lift weights for 2 days.
You've mixed vigorous aerobic activity (biking fast) with
moderate aerobic activity (softball) and activities for stronger
To add more effort, try some vigorous activities below:
- Aerobic dance
- Fast dancing
- Jumping rope
- Martial arts (such as karate)
- Race walking, jogging, or running
- Riding a bike on hills or riding faster
- Swimming fast or swimming laps
- Tennis (singles)
You can choose moderate or vigorous activities, or a mix
of both each week
Advice to follow: do at least 2-hrs and 30-mts each week
of aerobic physical activity at a moderate level.
OR . . . do at least 1 hour and 15 minutes each week of aerobic
physical activity at a vigorous level.
Do it your way!
You can replace some or all of your moderate activity with
vigorous activity. With vigorous activities, you get similar
health benefits in half the time it takes you with moderate
Muscle strengthening activities . . . Remember to also do
strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week.
Adding more time . . . Strive to double your weekly activity
time. Work to be active 5 or more hours each week for even
more health benefits.
For Everyone: Staying Safe and Avoiding Injury
Physical activity is generally safe for everyone. People
who are physically fit have less chance of injury than those
who are not fit. The health benefits you gain from being active
are far greater than the chances of getting hurt. Being inactive
is definitely not good for your health.
Here are some things you can do to stay safe while you are
- If you haven't been active in a while, start slowly and
- Learn about the types and amounts of activity that are
right for you.
- Choose activities that are appropriate for your fitness
- Build up the time you spend before switching to activities
that take more effort.
- Use the right safety gear and sports equipment.
- Choose a safe place to do your activity.
- See a health care provider if you have a health problem.