Guidelines to Work Out By

Having a workout puts me in a good mood!

If you’re not sure how hard or long to workout, look no further than the U.S. government. It has put together activity guidelines for adults. These guidelines outline 3 levels of activity: light, moderate, and vigorous. Here are some samples of each level, as well as how much of each you should do:

  • Light: Slow walking, gardening, dusting or vacuuming, light stretching, and warm-up movements.
  • Moderate: Brisk walking, mowing the lawn, bicycling and swimming, scrubbing floors, and lifting weights. If this is the level you choose, aim for at least 150 minutes per week.  This can be done in 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. Or you might try doing 10 minutes, 3 times a day.
  • Vigorous: Jogging or running, swimming laps, circuit training, bicycling uphill, and moving furniture. If you opt for vigorous over moderate workouts, aim for 75 minutes each week. Or you can do a blend of both levels.

If it has been awhile since you were last active, talk with your doctor before starting any new exercise routine to make sure the activities you choose are safe for you. Then, start slow and—bit by bit—build up the length and intensity of your workouts. Once you feel stronger, work out for longer. If you are very busy, you may not have time for a 30-minute or longer workout. Instead, you could do 2 or 3 sessions of 5 to 10 minutes per day.