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HRSA Logo My Bright Future: Physical Activity And Healthy Eating Guide for Adult Women My Bright Future: Physical Activity And Healthy Eating Guide for Adult Women
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Getting Started

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Talking With My Health Care Provider

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My Health Care Visit

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Setting My Goals

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What I Should Know

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Hints for Reaching My Goals

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Getting More Information

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What I Should Know

This section provides some information on physical activity and healthy eating choices to help you with your goals. Also, ask your health care provider for Bright Futures for Women’s Health and Wellness Reaching My Goal Tip Sheets or visit

Physical Activity

Being physically active means moving your body. Regular physical activity can:

  • Make you feel more energetic
  • Make you feel good
  • Help to beat stress and depression
  • Help you sleep better
  • Help you lower your risk of many diseases
  • Help you control your weight by balancing the calories you take in with the calories you burn.


  • Get at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity most days of the week for good health.
  • Aim for 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous most days of the week to prevent weight gain. A longer amount (60-90 minutes) may be needed to keep up weight loss.

You can do this all at one time or break it up into shorter bouts of physical activity throughout the day.

Make Physical Activity a Part of Your Day

For . . . Try . . .
Flexibility Stretching, yoga, dancing

Lifting weights, situps, pushups, carrying groceries or a child

Heart Health (aerobic) Brisk walking, running, biking, swimming, jumping rope, roller skating, using aerobic equipment (for example, treadmill, stationary bike)

Physical Activity Safety Tips

  • Slow down if you’re out of breath. You should be able to talk while exercising without gasping for breath.
  • Drink water before, during, and after exercise.
  • Limit hard exercise for 2 hours after a big meal. A short walk is okay.
  • Wear supportive shoes and use sunscreen when outdoors.

STOP exercising and call 9-1-1 right away if you feel any of the signs below for more than a few minutes:

  • Have discomfort or pain in the center of your chest
  • Have discomfort in your arm(s), back, neck, jaw, or stomach
  • Feel dizzy or sick
  • Feel short of breath
  • Break out in a cold sweat

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I used to do a clothing exchange with my girlfriends with clothes that no longer fit. The last straw came when I had to give up my favorite brown suit. I knew it was time to start an exercise plan. So, I borrowed a fun exercise tape, cleared out my living room, and started exercising with my friends a few times a week. Soon, we started doing other fun things like line, salsa, and belly dancing – activities that we could do for the long haul, not just for quick fixes.
Los Angeles, California

Photo of Janette from Los Angeles,  California



Department of Health and Human Services