A person walks vigorously for their daily recommended physical activity.

We all know that daily exercise can have a positive impact on our physical and mental health. It might not be easy to find time for running, cycling, or other activities, but your health deserves to be a priority. So, how much do you need to exercise?

Exercise Recommendations For Adults

The key to meeting exercise recommendations starts by knowing what moderate-intensity activity is for you. No matter the activity, make sure you’re raising your heart rate. Perhaps the best way to measure your exercise intensity is to ensure your workout:

  • Raises your heart rate
  • Breathing harder than normal
  • Capable of talking, but perhaps not in complete sentences

Examples of moderate-intensity activities include:

  • Walking quickly
  • Swimming
  • Cycling
  • Heavy gardening or yardwork
  • Playing tennis
  • Climbing stairs

For most people, moderate activity may not be enough to make them sweat, but your fitness level and natural tendencies make sweating an inconsistent barometer of workout intensity.

Get Moving: How Often You Need To Exercise

Before starting a workout regimen, be sure to talk with your doctor, especially if you haven’t exercised consistently, are overweight, or have any underlying health concerns.

How Much Do Adults Need To Exercise Per Day?

The CDC and other health experts recommend adults exercise at least 30 minutes per day. This can include any of the activities listed above or things you enjoy doing. Carve out 30 minutes in the morning, at lunch, or after dinner as your dedicated 30 minutes to move!

How Much Do Adults Need To Exercise Per Week?

Adults need 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week, according to the CDC. A more recent recommendation also advised 2 of those days include muscle-strengthening activities or body weight-bearing exercises like weightlifting, yoga, Pilates, or other workouts.

The Benefits of Physical Activity

Regular exercise has a well-documented impact on your physical and mental health. Fitting the recommended amount of exercise into most days and weeks can help manage weight, improve cardiovascular health, lower your risk of diseases like diabetes, and lower the risk of cancer. Exercise is a core component of cancer prevention and individuals who work out regularly experience a lower risk of common cancers like:

  • Bladder
  • Breast
  • Colon
  • Endometrium
  • Esophageal
  • Kidney
  • Lung
  • Stomach

Cancer survivors are prescribed regular exercise as a way to improve overall fitness and lower the risk of cancer returning.

Active People, Healthy Nation

The CDC’s Active People, Healthy Nation initiative is designed to help people of all ages start and stay physically active. Learn fun ways to exercise and tips on how to get started and be sure to recruit some friends or co-workers to start exercising with you!

Stay On The Move With Less Cancer

Physical activity is a priority for Less Cancer and Less Cancer programming. We support healthcare providers, educators, and other organizations to prioritize impactful and accessible ways to prevent cancer like regular exercise. Learn how we do our work and get involved!