February: Heart Health Month

February is Heart Health Month

Are you fitting in at least 150 minutes (2.5 hours) of heart-pumping physical activity per week? If not, you’re not alone. Only about one in five adults and teens get enough exercise to maintain good health. Being more active can help all people think, feel and sleep better and perform daily tasks more easily. And if you’re sedentary, sitting less is a great place to start.

These recommendations are based on the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2nd edition, published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. They recommend how much physical activity we need to be healthy. The guidelines are based on current scientific evidence supporting the connections between physical activity, overall health and well-being, disease prevention and quality of life.

Recommendations for Adults

Get at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity, or a combination of both, preferably spread throughout the week.

Add moderate- to high-intensity muscle-strengthening activity (such as resistance or weights) on at least 2 days per week.

Spend less time sitting. Even light-intensity activity can offset some of the risks of being sedentary.

Gain even more benefits by being active at least 300 minutes (5 hours) per week.

Increase amount and intensity gradually over time.

Recommendations for Kids

Children 3-5 years old should be physically active and have plenty of opportunities to move throughout the day.

Kids 6-17 years old should get at least 60 minutes per day of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity, mostly aerobic.

Include vigorous-intensity activity on at least 3 days per week.

Include muscle- and bone-strengthening (weight-bearing) activities on at least 3 days per week.

Increase amount and intensity gradually over time.