For Women: A woman’s guide to exercise

Getting the recommended amount of physical activity each week has been shown to improve health, but women are less likely than men to get the exercise they need. Find out information here on just how important exercise is,  how much exercise you need and ways to incorporate it into your life.

Why exercise?

Research shows that the benefits of physical activity are numerous. It can lower your risk of several different kinds of cancer, chronic diseases like high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes, stroke, heart disease and many other illnesses and ailments.

The benefits go beyond the physical body. Exercise can help reduce stress an anxiety.

How much exercise?

In 2008, the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans were released. For adults 18-64, they recommend the following:

  • Moderate-intensity: 2 hours and 30 minutes each week plus two or more days of muscle-strengthening activities
  • Vigorous-intensity: 1 hour and 15 minutes each week plus two or more days of muscle-strengthening activities
  • Mix of moderate & vigorous: An equivalent mix of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity plus two or more days of muscle-strengthening activities
Incorporating excerise into your life

There are many easy ways to add physical activity to your life:

  • Gardening. Tending to your  garden, trimming shrubs, etc. can be considered moderate activity. Digging and similar activities are more vigorous.
  • Go for a bike ride. Take a flat course for moderate activity or add hills and speed for a more vigorous workout.
  • Go for a walk or run — whether through your community or on a treadmill, you can control the level of intensity.

What’s most important — and most likely to help you keep exercising — is to Be Active Your Way (open accessible version in new window)