Fitness Guidelines for Adults

Moderate Physical Activity

Fitness Guidelines for Adults

All adults should avoid inactivity. Some physical activity is better than none. Adults who participate in any amount of physical activity achieve health gains. Learn what the fitness guidelines are for adults and get moving!

  • Moderate Activity Fitness GuidelinesFor substantial health gains, adults should do at least 150 minutes a week of moderate intensity exercise.  If your exercising at a vigorous level, 75 minutes a week of aerobic physical activity is enough. You can also do the equivalent combination of moderate and vigorous intensity aerobics. Aerobic activity should be performed in episodes of at least 10 minutes and should be spread throughout the week.


  • Vigorous Physical Activity Fitness GuidelinesFor additional and more extensive health gains, adults can increase aerobics to 300 minutes a week of moderate intensity. That is equal to five hours of aerobics.  You could also do 150 minutes a week of vigorous intensity aerobic physical activity.  Another option is a combination of moderate and vigorous intensity activity. Additional health gains occur when you are physically activity beyond this amount.


  • Adults should also do muscle-strengthening activities that are moderate or high intensity. All major muscle groups should be exercised on 2 or more days a week. These activities provide additional health gains. Visit our Essential Exercises section for exercises for all levels of fitness.

Muscle Strengthening to meet fitness guidelines

Over 55?

You can exercise a bit less strenuously, but should still exercise! Check out our Exercise Guidelines for Seniors for information and exercises modified for seniors. We offer many different exercises to work each major muscle group safety and effectively. You want to stay in shape as you age to continue enjoying an active quality of life.

Physical Guidelines Level for Adults

Recommended Physical Activity Amounts for Aduts Infographic

In Summary

Adults should do 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobics every week.

Instead of 150 minutes of moderate intensity, you could do 75 minutes of vigorous aerobics each week. Be sure you are in good shape if you choose this option.

Muscle strengthening should be done twice a week. All major muscle groups should be challenged with resistance. If you are new to muscle toning, consider Exercising with Therabands.

If you have any specific health issues, do consult with your doctor before beginning any exercise program.

Source: US Dept of Health and Human Services, Physical Fitness Guidelines for Americans

Author: Jeni

Certified by the Professional School of Fitness and Nutrition in March, 1995; honored for exemplary grades. Practicing fitness and nutrition for over 20 years. Featured in the Feb. 1994 issue of "Shape" magazine. Featured in Collage in the spring issue of 1995 Low fat recipe's published in Taste of Home, Quick Cooking, and the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, among others. September, 2001: Featured in "Winning The War on Cholesterol" By Rodale Publishing

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