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You probably called it "play" or "fun" when you were a kid.
Physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health. Getting in shape may be a challenge, but it pays off with more energy, more fun, and better health. For ideas and events that will help you be more active, visit the website of our "Get Up and Do Something" campaign.
Find a type of physical activity that’s fun for you. Exercise is something you need to do for the rest of your life, so it’s essential to find activities you really enjoy. Try walking, swimming, bicycling, skiing, skating, dancing, tennis, volleyball, or any activity that sounds enjoyable to you.
Even if or when you’re not "exercising," try to be more active. Do housework, gardening, hobbies or projects. Climb stairs instead of using elevators. Walk to the corner store instead of driving. Only watch television if there is a program you really want to watch—and be more active (work on a hobby or exercise) while you’re watching the show. Try to limit TV watching to a few hours a day.
Start gradually. Begin with what’s comfortable, even if it’s only five minutes. Add two minutes a week until you work up to a desirable level. Don’t exercise to the point of pain. If you feel any chest or heart pains, check with your doctor before resuming exercise.
In 2008, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reviewed research on physical activity and published Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. A summary of those guidelines is provided by age group:
A PDF of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans can be read or downloaded here.
Download PDF of a four-page fact sheet about the guidelines from CDC.
Please note: Some of the files available on this page are in Adobe PDF format which requires Adobe Acrobat Reader. A free copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader can be downloaded directly from Adobe . If you are using an assistive technology unable to read Adobe PDF, please either view the corresponding text only version (if available) or visit Adobe's Accessibility Tools page.