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United States Department  of Veterans Affairs

Physical Activity

Image showing people riding bike The best way to manage your weight is to keep a balance between what you eat and drink and how active you are. You can be active your way by choosing activities that are best for you and your lifestyle. Start at a level that is comfortable for you. Increase your activity gradually and safely. Find out more about Getting Started, for example how to set goals, how to track your progress, and how to continue with physical activity that will help you feel great and also benefit your health.

The 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend the following for adults:

  • Do at least 2½ hours per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity,
  • 1¼ hours per week of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity
  • Activity should be performed in episodes of at least 10 minutes and preferably spread out throughout the week
  • For additional health benefits, do muscle strengthening activities and involve all major muscle groups on 2 or more days per week

    Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans

    No Co-payments for MOVE!® Weight Management Counseling

    Get Ready: Benefits of change, how to start healthy living, and special situations

    Self–Management: Understand and track your progress through use of various health tools

    Caregiver Information: Caregiver resources and when to get additional help

    Related Topic: Physical Activity as Part of Weight Management

    Reviewed/Updated Date: January 2012
    Clinical Advisory Board Sponsor: Dr. Linda Kinsinger
    Clinical Subject Matter Experts: Dr. Kenneth R. Jones, Sophia Hurley
    Patient Education Subject Matter Experts: Dr. Rose Mary Pries, Dr. Pam Hebert

Tip of the Day

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Are you in a bad mood? If feelings of sadness and lack of energy keep you down for long periods of time, don't pass it off as just a "bad mood." Don't listen to people who say "It's all in your head." Yes, it is all in your head! That's where depression starts. The difference between depression and sadness is a physical part that affects sleep, appetite, concentration and memory. Just as in physical illness, depression can and should be treated. If you have symptoms such as feelings of worthlessness or emptiness, sleeplessness, anxiety, lack of energy, loss of interest in life, see your Health Care Provider immediately; you may also need to see a psychiatrist or licensed psychologist specializing in depression. Depression can be treated!

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