How much aerobic exercise do I need for good health?

Aim for about 30 minutes of aerobic exercise a day, at least five days a week. If you haven't been very active recently, start out with 5 or 10 minutes a day. Then work up to more time each week. Or split up your activity for the day -- try a brisk 10-minute walk three times each day. If you're trying to lose weight, you may want to aim for more than 30 minutes a day.

Since 1995 the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, recommendation has been that adults obtain at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on 5 or more days a week, for a total of at least 150 minutes a week. This was reiterated in the most recent physical activity guidelines set forth in 2008 by the federal government. However, the CDC /ACSM recommendation was too specific; thus, the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans was slightly modified. In other words, existing scientific evidence does not allow researchers to say, for example, whether the health benefits of 30 minutes on 5 days a week are any different from the health benefits of 50 minutes on 3 days a week. As a result, the new guidelines allow a person to accumulate 150 minutes a week in various ways.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.