Keeping Active in Your Busy Life

Raya Beerbower, MRH Dietetic Intern

We might always feel like we are “on the go,” but making time for regular exercise should still be a priority. It is still possible to be physically active no matter how busy we get!

It is also important to know how much activity we need to be our healthiest self. The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans provides advice on how much activity we need. Here’s what is recommended for adults:

  • Adults should move more and sit less throughout the day. Some physical activity is better than none. Adults who sit less and do any amount of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity gain some health benefits. (See! Even just getting up to walk around is better than nothing.)

  • For substantial health benefits, adults should do at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) to 300 minutes (5 hours) a week of moderate-intensity, or 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes) to 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity, or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity. Preferably, aerobic activity should be spread throughout the week.

  • Additional health benefits are gained by engaging in physical activity beyond the equivalent of 300 minutes (5 hours) of moderate-intensity physical activity a week.

  • Adults should also do muscle-strengthening activities of moderate or greater intensity and involve all major muscle groups on two or more days a week. These activities provide additional health benefits.

*For other age groups, more detailed recommendations can be found on the USDA’s website:

Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2nd edition (

Not sure what is considered moderate or vigorous aerobic exercise? Here are some ideas.

Based on these recommendations, if you do 30 minutes of physical activity a day outside of your normal activity on five days of the week, you have met your activity needs. If you think about it, this is not difficult at all to reach. Simply getting up from your desk every hour and walking for 5 minutes for 7 hours of the day would allow you to hit this goal! While more activity is certainly encouraged, this is still a great goal on those extra busy days!

Check out this video for even more ideas to stay active when your schedule is jam-packed: Move Your Way: Tips for Busy Days - YouTube

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