womens nike It isn't enough to know you have to be active. Activity means many things, from shopping and cleaning to weightlifting or running. Fortunately, in 2008, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released activity guidelines for average citizens. The guidelines suggest that for people previously inactive, 60 minutes of aerobic activity each week will bring health improvements. For citizens who are already active, 60 minutes a week is not enough.

Average Activity

Aerobic exercises are ones you can sustain for at least 10 consecutive minutes. Aerobic activities include exercises such as walking, swimming, rowing, skating, dancing and running. Health benefits are felt when you perform two hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise each week. Moderate intensity is a level that feels somewhat difficult. If you are able to exercise at a higher-intensity level, one that feels difficult to very difficult, your workout time decreases to one hour and 15 minutes each week.

High Activity

nike clothing The more active you are, the more your health benefits increase. If your endurance level is high, increase the amount of time you spend doing aerobic activity. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends five hours of moderate-level activity or two hours and 30 minutes of high-intensity activity each week for major health improvements. You can combine workout intensity levels, or split up your workouts into 20- to 30-minute durations to add up to a weekly total.

Muscular Strength

Not only is heart health important, but muscular health also has its benefits. You improve your muscle strength and tone, increase your metabolism and reduce your risk of osteoporosis when you strength train. The average citizen should aim to strength train the major muscle groups including the chest, back, arms, core, shoulders and legs two days a week with at least two days of rest in between workouts. The recommended intensity effort for strength training is a moderate level.

Helpful Hints

nike jackets Your activity does not always have to be at a gym. You can exercise outside, at home or at the office. If you have difficulty working out on your own, include co-workers or family for motivation and accountability. Receive the most benefits from your weekly activity when you schedule your workouts into your week for consistency in your routine.