Add Activity to Your Life

— Written By N.C. Cooperative Extension

May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, a celebration of the joy and health benefits of living an active life. During the month of May, we challenge you to include a minimum of 30 minutes of physical activity each day.

Regular physical activity helps improve your overall health and fitness, and reduces your risk for many chronic diseases. 

For substantial health benefits, adults need at least:

  • 2 hours and 30 minutes (150 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity. This includes brisk walking, water aerobics, riding a bike on level ground or with few hills, playing doubles tennis or pushing a lawn mover every week. 

Or (or a combination of the two)

  • 1 hour and 15 minutes (75 minutes) of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity. This included jogging or running, swimming laps, riding a bike fast or on hills, playing singles tennis.
  • In at least 10 minutes at a time, you can fit the activity into your schedule throughout the week. A rule of thumb is that 1 minute of vigorous-intensity activity is about the same as 2 minutes of moderate-intensity activity.

In addition

  • Do muscle-strengthening activities at least 2 days a week. Be sure to strengthen all major muscle groups including the legs, hips, back, chest, stomach, shoulders, and arms.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Physical Activity for Everyone offers videos at to help explain the guidelines, give you tips on how to meet them and show you how to do muscle strengthening exercises properly

Eleanor Summers
Extension Agent
Family & Consumer Sciences