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Exercise Goals—Small Steps to Getting Healthier

Exercise and regular physical activity may be some of the healthiest things you can do for yourself at any age.

Always be sure to check with your doctor before beginning any activity plan or increasing your activity.

Even moderate activity can provide health benefits

Once your doctor gives you the go-ahead, you can start with a program your body can tolerate and slowly build up from there. This is especially important if you haven’t been active for a long time.

With your doctor’s advice, your goal could be to build up to at least 30 minutes of physical activity on most or all days of the week. You can choose to do your whole 30 minutes at once—or break up your sessions into three 10-minute chunks, as long as they total 30 minutes by the end of the day. If you’re already doing 30 to 45 minutes of physical activity most days, you might consider trying to do a little more.

Learn Three Simple Ways to Burn More Calories Every Day
Learn Three Simple Ways to Burn More Calories Every Day

3 simple ways to burn more calories every day

You might be surprised at how easy it is to burn extra calories with these everyday activities:

  • Don't wait until spring—one hour of cleaning can burn up to 300 calories. Work on your house and your body at the same time
  • Skip the escalator or elevator and take the stairs instead. You burn more calories climbing the stairs than standing still
  • Stop trying to find the perfect spot in the parking lot and park farther away. The extra steps can add up quickly

A little physical activity may lead to a lot of benefits

Physical activity is an important step you can take to help improve your health and quality of life. Regular physical activity may help you look and feel better, and may help prevent or delay:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Stroke
  • Colon cancer
  • Breast cancer

Physical activity may also help improve mental health; strengthen muscles, bones, and joints; and maintain function in older adults. Increasing strength and endurance can help make everyday things—like climbing stairs and carrying groceries—easier to do. In addition, improving balance can help in preventing falls and reducing the risk of bone fractures.

Why not take the first steps now?

A little more physical activity may make a positive difference in your overall health and state of mind. The trick is finding the right activity to keep you motivated. Explore our fitness section for ideas and tips, and take steps toward your health goals. You can do it.