Nearly 80 percent of adults are not getting enough exercise*. Many people still undervalue the benefits of physical activity and underestimate the effects of a sedentary lifestyle on their overall health. Following these guidelines below developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services* will help get you started on your journey to improved fitness and better health. Before making a significant change in your routine, always be sure to check with your doctor.
Who Benefits from Physical Activity?
Everyone can benefit from regular physical activity! Recommended activities may vary depending on your age and physical ability level.
Preschool-Aged Children: Kids ages 3-5 should be physically active throughout the day to enhance growth and development.
Children and Adolescents: Those ages 6-17 should do 60 minutes or more of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity daily.
Adults: While any amount of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity will benefit your health, adults should do at least 150-300 minutes of exercise per week for substantial health benefits.
Older Adults: Those age 65 and older should do weekly physical activity that includes balance training and muscle-strengthening exercises for 150 minutes per week, or as much as their physical ability allows.
Women During Pregnancy and the Postpartum Period: Under the care of a healthcare provider, women who are pregnant and postpartum should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week.
Risks of Sedentary Behavior
Sedentary behavior refers to any waking behavior that requires a low level of energy, such as sitting, watching TV, reclining, or lying down. More time spent engaging in sedentary behavior increases risk of:
Type 2 diabetes
Colon, endometrium, and lung cancer
Health Benefits of Physical Activity
Reduces risk of many chronic conditions, such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and high blood cholesterol
Supports healthy weight management
Reduces risk of certain cancers
Supports brain health benefits, including possible improved cognitive function, reduced anxiety and depression risk, and improved sleep and quality of life
Improves bone health and weight management for children ages 3-5 years
Improves cognitive function for youth ages 6-13 years
For pregnant women, reduces risk of excessive weight gain, gestational diabetes, and postpartum depression
For older adults, reduces risk of fall-related injuries and helps maintain independence
For people with chronic conditions, reduced risk of all-cause and disease-specific mortality, improved physical function, and improved quality of life
Types of Physical Activity
Physical Activity Intensity
Light-intensity activity is non-sedentary waking behavior, like walking at a slow or leisurely pace, cooking activities, or light household chores.
Moderate-intensity activity includes activities like walking briskly (2.5 to 4 mph), playing doubles tennis, and raking the yard.
Vigorous-intensity activity includes activities like jogging, running, carrying heavy groceries or other loads upstairs, or participating in a strenuous fitness class.
Levels of Physical Activity
Inactive is not getting any moderate- or vigorous-intensity physical activity beyond basic movement from daily life activities.
Insufficiently active is doing some moderate- or vigorous-intensity physical activity, but less than 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity per week. This level is less than the target range for meeting the key guidelines for adults.
Active is doing 150-300 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week. This level meets the key guideline target range for adults.
Highly active is doing more than 300 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week. This level exceeds the key guideline target range for adults.
Aerobic activity, also called endurance or cardio, causes your heart to beat faster and you will breathe harder than normal. Examples of aerobic activity include:
Muscle Strengthening Activity
Muscle-strengthening activity strengthens targeted muscle groups by applying weight or force. It is important to work all the major muscle groups of the body – the legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms. Examples of muscle-strengthening activities include:
Lifting relatively heavy objects such as weights
Working with resistance bands
Heavy gardening, such as digging or shoveling
Push-ups, sit-ups, and squats
Bone Strengthening Activity
Bone-strengthening activity promotes bone growth and strength. This type of exercise can also be aerobic and muscle strengthening. Examples of bone-strengthening activities include:
Balance activities can reduce your chances of falling while standing or moving. This type of exercise is especially important for older adults to reduce their risk of injury from falls. Examples of balance activities include:
Standing on one leg
Using a wobble board
Physical activity and caloric intake must be considered when trying to control body weight.
Scientific evidence shows that physical activity helps people maintain a stable weight over time and can reduce the risk of excessive weight gain and obesity.
Some people may need more physical activity than others to maintain or lose weight. Many people need more than 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity per week to maintain weight.
People who want to lose a substantial amount of weight (more than 5 percent of body weight) may need to do more than 300 minutes of moderate-intensity activity a week to meet their goals.
Combining muscle-strengthening activities, aerobic activities, and caloric restriction tends to be the most beneficial approach for weight loss and maintenance.
It’s never too late to begin your journey to better health! Start by visiting healthywayevents.com and attending one of our free fitness classes in your neighborhood. There’s something for everyone – Zumba, yoga, strength and balance, dance classes and more!
The content provided is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult with your physician or other qualified health provider prior to changing your diet, starting an exercise regimen, or with any questions that you may have about your health or medical condition.
* U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2nd edition. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; 2018.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule affords members the right to receive a notice that describes how health information may be used and disclosed and how to get access to this information. Regal Medical Group (RMG) is required to send a notice ("Notice of Privacy Practices") to members of our insured Health and Long Term Care plans.
RMG welcomes you to their website. All information that is collected on our website is done on a voluntary basis. All non-public personal information that you provide via our website will be used strictly for the purpose stated on the page where it is collected. RMG will not sell, license, transmit or disclose this information outside of RMG or our affiliated companies unless (1) required or permitted by law, (2) expressly authorized by you, or (3) necessary to enable RMG contractors or agents to perform certain functions for us. With all disclosures, we will disclose information consistent with applicable law and regulations and we will require the recipient to protect the information and use it only for the intended purpose.
"Personal Information" is defined as data that is unique to an individual, for example: name, address, member id, date of birth, or telephone number. There may be occasions where we may request personal information on our website in order to provide services or respond to your questions.
Feedback and questions are always welcome on our website. We have provided e-mail boxes for that purpose. Your feedback and questions will be shared with our customer service representatives and those employees most capable of addressing your feedback and questions.
Please note e-mail, like most, if not all, non-encrypted Internet e-mail communications, may be accessed and viewed by other Internet users, without your knowledge and permission, while in transit to us. For that reason, to protect your privacy, please do not use e-mail to communicate information to us that you consider confidential. If you wish, you may contact us instead via non-cellular telephone at the numbers provided on our Contact Us page or Member Services at 866-654-3471.
We have made some locations on our website secure, so you can exchange non-public personal information with us. You will be provided appropriate instructions at each of these locations.
Linking to Other Sites
RMG's website may provide links to other websites, that are not owned or maintained by RMG, that we think might be useful or of interest to you. These other websites will open in a separate browser window. We are not responsible for the privacy practices used by other websites, the content, or accuracy of the other websites. These links to other non-RMG websites do not constitute or imply endorsement by RMG of these websites, any products or services described on these sites, or of any material contained in them.
RMG has adopted and adheres to stringent security standards designed to protect non-public personal information at regalmed.com against accidental or unauthorized access or disclosure. Among the safeguards that RMG has developed for this site are administrative, physical and technical barriers that together form a protective firewall around the information stored at this site. We periodically subject our site to simulated intrusion tests and have developed comprehensive disaster recovery plans.
Changes to this Statement
RMG may change this Statement from time to time without notice. This Statement is not intended to and does not create any contractual or other legal rights in or on behalf of any party.
All information provided on this web is "AS IS" without warranty of any kind, either express or implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, or non-infringement. Some jurisdictions do not allow for the exclusion of implied warranties, so the exclusion above may not apply to you. The data set forth herein is for informational purposes only, and no warranty is made that the information is error-free. Please note that once you leave this site, either by using a link we may have provided for your convenience or by specifying your own destination, RMG accepts no responsibility for the content, products and/or service provided at these non-RMG locations. RMG does not control, endorse, promote, or have any affiliation with any other website unless expressly stated herein.
RMG will not be held liable to any party for any direct, indirect, special, or other consequential damages arising from any use of this website, or any linked website, including, without limitation, any loss of profits, business interruption, loss of programs or data on your equipment, or otherwise, even if we are expressly advised of the possibility or likelihood of such damages.
Changes to This Website
Information may be changed or updated without notice. RMG has no obligation to update information presented on this website, so information contained herein may be out of date at any given point in time. RMG may also make improvements and/or changes in the services and/or programs described in this information at any time without notice.