How much exercise is right for me?

Do you work out regularly, occasionally, or not at all? No matter how much (or little!) you exercise, it’s all about finding a plan that’s right for you and gets your body moving. But what does that really mean?

It’s always a good idea to check in with your doctor or other healthcare provider before starting or changing your exercise routine, especially if you have any health issues or concerns. The general recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are that adults (ages 18-64) do at least:



Remember, at the end of the day it’s not about how many pounds you can bench press or how toned your abs are, what matters is that you’re getting your body moving and taking charge of your health. What and how much you eat can also have a large impact on your health. Learn about nutrition, obesity, eating disorders, and more.

What are some tips for getting my body moving?

  • Think creatively about ways to get your body moving (and grooving) – dance party anyone? Or a little booty? J
  • Look for simple ways to integrate exercise into your daily routine – take the stairs versus an elevator or escalator, or walk or bike somewhere versus driving or using public transit (it saves money and is good for you!).
  • Find a workout buddy. Working out with someone can help you stick with a workout routine and stay motivated. Got a dog? They can make excellent walking buddies.
  • Have a smart phone? Download an application to help track your physical activity. No smart phone? No worries. There are many online tools such as My Pyramid Tracker [link to www.mypyramidtracker.gov/] that can also help you track your exercise and diet.
  • Try breaking up your exercising into smaller chunks. For example, go for a 10-minute brisk walk, 3 times a day, 5 days a week. That’s 150 minutes of exercise per week!
  • Get a pedometer to measure how many steps you take. Set a daily goal for steps for yourself. Start small and add more steps each week. Challenge your friends to see who has the most steps.
  • Watch an online workout video or grab one from your local library. A little Jane Fonda or Richard Simmons can help get your body moving!
  • If you have the $, hire a personal trainer to teach you the ropes and get you started on an exercise routine.
  • If you have private health insurance, check to see if it includes a fitness benefit. Some private plans will reimburse you for a certain amount of money towards a gym membership.

Sources: CDC.gov, MyPyramid Tracker