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There are a lot of ways to get the physical activity you need!

If you're thinking, "How can I meet the guidelines each week?" don't worry. You'll be surprised by the variety of activities you have to choose from. To meet the guidelines for aerobic activity, basically anything counts, as long as it's done at a moderate- or vigorous-intensity for at least 10 minutes at a time.

For more help with getting started, watch this video:
Aerobic activity - what counts? video

Windows Media Player, 8:25

Stick With It

By picking physical activities you enjoy and that match your abilities, it will help ensure that you stick with them. If you're not sure where to start, here are some examples.

...continue reading "Adding Physical Activity to Your Life – Center for Disease Control and Prevention"

Instructions for Borg Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) Scale

While doing physical activity, we want you to rate your perception of exertion. This feeling should reflect how heavy and strenuous the exercise feels to you, combining all sensations and feelings of physical stress, effort, and fatigue. Do not concern yourself with any one factor such as leg pain or shortness of breath, but try to focus on your total feeling of exertion.

Look at the rating scale below while you are engaging in an activity; it ranges from 6 to 20, where 6 means "no exertion at all" and 20 means "maximal exertion." Choose the number from below that best describes your level of exertion. This will give you a good idea of the intensity level of your activity, and you can use this information to speed up or slow down your movements to reach your desired range.

...continue reading "Perceived Exertion Scale – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention"

Here are some ways to understand and measure the intensity of aerobic activity: Relative intensity vs Absolute intensity. 

Relative Intensity

The level of effort required by a person to do an activity. When using relative intensity, people pay attention to how physical activity affects their heart rate and breathing.

The talk test is a simple way to measure relative intensity. In general, if you're doing moderate-intensity activity you can talk, but not sing, during the activity. If you're doing vigorous-intensity activity, you will not be able to say more than a few words without pausing for a breath.

Absolute Intensity

The amount of energy used by the body per minute of activity. The table below lists examples of activities classified as moderate-intensity or vigorous-intensity based upon the amount of energy used by the body while doing the activity.

...continue reading "Measuring Physical Activity Intensity – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention"

Physical Activity: A Vital Sign for Health

The importance of physical activity cannot be stressed enough, yet there is a lack of better, more informed promotion within the healthcare setting.  Reducing physical inactivity requires a more comprehensive, ‘whole of society’ approach. Efforts are needed to maximize the potential benefits of setting-specific interventions, under a coordinated, multisectoral approach and "healthcare providers have contact with the majority of Americans [giving them] a unique opportunity to encourage PA among their patients through PA assessment and brief counseling." (Coleman, K. J. et al., 2012).

Substantial evidence already exists, with more continuing to emerge, supporting multi-pronged strategies that involve PA counseling, and prescription and referral strategies that link healthcare and community-based resources. This is the very gap that Exercise is Medicine (EIM) seeks to fill through tested, evidence-based approaches that demonstrate the effectiveness of integrating EIM into healthcare systems.


Physical Activity in Healthcare

Physical Activity: A Prescription for Health

Results for Older Adults include:

  • Reduced incidents of falls
  • Reduced incidents of fall related injuries
  • Improved physical function in adults with or without frailty
  • lower risk of mortality
  • lower cardiovascular incidence and mortality
  • lower incidence of hypertension
  • lower incidence of type 3 diabetes
  • lower incidence of bladder, breast, colon, endometrium, esophagus, kidney, stomach and lung cancers.
  • Reduced risk of dementia
  • Improved cognitive function
  • Improved quality of life
  • Improved sleep
  • Reduced feelings of anxiety and depression
  • Reduced risk of excessive weight gain
  • Weight loss

...continue reading "THE POWER OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY: Exercise is Medicine from the American College of Sports Medicine"

Name: Harold Moss, Age: 67, Height: 5 feet 11 inches, Single, no children, part-time tennis instructor, cancer survivor. If you are patient and disciplined, you cna be stronger than you were 10 years ago.

My Physical Activity Routine/Program

Most days, I start with stretching. That’s mostly to keep me in touch with what I can or can’t do that day. Then typically I’ll go down to the gym in our building and work my biceps, triceps, quads, hamstrings and stomach muscles. I may swim for 10 or 15 minutes for the aerobic part. In my case, since I want to get my heart pumping, I swim vigorously. Now that I’ve started teaching tennis again, I may skip the gym on days I teach. And several evenings a week I try to play tennis with my wife.

How I Do It: My Routine
Quick Check
60 min
90 min
15 min
45 min
15 min
60 min
check Exceeds
aerobic guidelines
weight training
weight training
weight training
check Exceeds
muscle strenthening

Why I Started

After my physical catastrophes – high blood pressure, surgery for prostate cancer, hip replacement – my mental state was fragile. I’d never worried about my body because I’m an athlete. But when you can’t move, it’s extremely depressing! Once I decided to go through with the hip replacement, I started developing my leg muscles – quads and hamstrings – so my recovery from the surgery would be better. That ended up being a good thing, because the physical therapist said I recovered faster than most.


Now, not only can I walk but I can run – like a little kid again!

Biggest Motivation

I want to live a little longer. I want to feel good. I love life and I want to be engaged in life. Both my brothers had strokes and one is gone – and they’re younger than I am.

Biggest Challenge

Now that I’m older, my weight zooms up very quickly. I’ve just lost 10 pounds, but for about a year it looked like it was never going to change.

Greatest Achievement/Biggest Thrill

I’ve been able to play tennis against some of the same people I used to play 5 to 10 years ago. It took a couple weeks, but now I’m actually winning games.

Read David's Story on the CDC Website:

DavidDavid, Age 65
“I have been able to control my diabetes with diet and exercise rather than insulin.”

Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, you can stick to your exercise routine when you’re on the road.

It may be easier to be active when you’re on vacation, but even on a business trip, it’s possible to squeeze in 30 minutes of physical activity some time during the day.

With a little planning, it can be easy to stay fit when you travel:

older man holding hand weights

...continue reading "Go4Life: Exercise Tips for Travelers from the National Institute on Aging"

At times, almost everyone can use a personal cheerleader for encouragement, inspiration, and even celebration when they successfully meet their goal. Cheering on a friend or family member who wants to be more physically active can be a great way to show your support—and it’s easy to do.

Here are a few tips.

Two women walking and smiling

...continue reading "Go4Life: Give Me an A for Activity! Motivating Others To Be Physically Active."

Vacation? Flu? Out-of-town guests? Many things can interrupt your physical activity routine, but you can start again and be successful. Here are a few ideas to help.

Senior man wearing swimming goggles with a towel around his neck

  • Don’t be too hard on yourself. Just try to get back to your activities as soon as possible.
  • Think about the reasons you started exercising and how much you’ve already accomplished.
  • Start again at a comfortable level, and gradually build back up.
  • Try an activity you’ve never done before.
  • Believe in yourself!

Sometimes the reason you stop exercising is temporary, and at other times it’s permanent. Here are some ways to manage these breaks.

...continue reading "Go4Life: Starting to Exercise Again after a Break from the National Institute on Aging"



There is evidence from high quality studies to strongly support the positive association between increased levels of physical activity, exercise participation and improved health in older adults.

Worldwide, around 3.2 million deaths per year are being attributed to inactivity. In industrialised countries where people are living longer lives, the levels of chronic health conditions are increasing and the levels of physical activity are declining. Key factors in improving health are exercising at a moderate-to-vigorous level for at least 5 days per week and including both aerobic and strengthening exercises.

Few older adults achieve the level of physical activity or exercise that accompanies health improvements. A challenge for health professionals is to increase physical activity and exercise participation in older adults.

Some success in this has been reported when physicians have given specific, detailed and localised information to their patients, but more high quality research is needed to continue to address this issue of non-participation in physical activity and exercise of a high enough level to ensure health benefits.

...continue reading "Physical activity is medicine for older adults"