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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,
    OR
  • 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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Here's something to consider:
A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine looked at a large group of retired elderly, nonsmoking men who were followed for 12 years. Those who walked less than 1 mile/day were almost 2 times more likely to die from any cause than those who walked more than 2 miles/day. So, let's get to walking! Every day!

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