Exercise and Fitness

Physical inactivity is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, and most Americans are not physically active enough to gain any health benefits. Swimming, cycling, jogging, skiing, aerobic dancing, walking or many other activities can help your heart. Whether it's included in a structured exercise program or part of your daily routine, all physical activity adds up to a healthier heart.

According to the latest joint American Heart Association/American College of Sports Medicine guidelines on physical activity, all healthy adults ages 18-65 should be getting at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity five days of the week. However, there are additional guidelines for those 65 and older, or for those  50-64 with chronic conditions or physical functional limitations (e.g., arthritis) that affect movement ability or physical fitness.

To view the guidelines choose from one of the following:

ACSM/AHA Physical Activity and Public Health: Updated Recommendation for Adults

ACSM/AHA Physical Activity and Public Health in Older Adults

The programs below help adults achieve a heart-healthy lifestyle through physical activity in the recommended amounts.

Programs to Help You Get Physically Active



is the American Heart Association's movement calling on all Americans and their employers to live longer, more heart-healthy lives through walking and other healthy habits. more


people walking

Choose To Move is a free 12-week physical activity program for women. It shows women how to get active, eat healthfully and love their heart in just 12 weeks. more


Related Information:


This content is reviewed regularly. Last updated 7/21/08

Print   Email

Links on This Site
BMI (Body Mass Index) Calculator

Tips for Exercise Success

Physical Activity and Cardiovascular Health: Q & A


Did you know?

The latest physical activity guidelines were created in partnership with the American College of Sports Medicine. Check it out!
Guidelines for Adults
Guidelines for Older Adults

Get more information on ACSM.

Privacy Policy | Copyright | Ethics Policy | Conflict of Interest Policy | Linking Policy | Diversity
© 2009 American Heart Association, Inc. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use prohibited.