Physical activity guidelines for adults aged 19 to 64
Adults should do some type of physical activity every day. Any type of activity is good for you. The more you do the better.
- aim to be physically active every day. Any activity is better than none, and more is better still
- do strengthening activities that work all the major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms) on at least 2 days a week
- do at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity a week or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity a week
- reduce time spent sitting or lying down and break up long periods of not moving with some activity.
You can also achieve your weekly activity target with:
- several short sessions of very vigorous intensity activity
- a mix of moderate, vigorous and very vigorous intensity activity
彩之网首页You can do your weekly target of physical activity on a single day or over 2 or more days. Whatever suits you.
彩之网首页These guidelines are also suitable for:
- disabled adults
- pregnant women and new mothers
彩之网首页Make sure the type and intensity of your activity is appropriate for your level of fitness. Vigorous activity is not recommended for previously inactive women.
What counts as moderate aerobic activity?
Moderate activity will raise your heart rate, and make you breathe faster and feel warmer. One way to tell if you're working at a moderate intensity level is if you can still talk, but not sing.
Examples of moderate intensity activities:
- brisk walking
- water aerobics
- riding a bike
- doubles tennis
- pushing a lawn mower
Try the aerobic workout videos彩之网首页 in the NHS Fitness Studio.
What counts as vigorous activity?
彩之网首页Vigorous intensity activity makes you breathe hard and fast. If you're working at this level, you will not be able to say more than a few words without pausing for breath.
彩之网首页In general, 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity can give similar health benefits to 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity.
Most moderate activities can become vigorous if you increase your effort.
彩之网首页Examples of vigorous activities:
- jogging or running
- swimming fast
- riding a bike fast or on hills
- walking up the stairs
- sports, like football, rugby, netball and hockey
- skipping rope
- martial arts
Try the aerobic workout videos in the NHS Fitness Studio.
For a moderate to vigorous workout, try Couch to 5K, a 9-week running plan for beginners.
What counts as very vigorous activity?
Very vigorous activities are exercises performed in short bursts of maximum effort broken up with rest.
彩之网首页This type of exercise is also known as High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).
Examples of very vigorous activities:
- lifting heavy weights
- circuit training
- sprinting up hills
- interval running
- running up stairs
- spinning classes
What activities strengthen muscles?
To get health benefits from strength exercises, you should do them to the point where you need a short rest before repeating the activity.
彩之网首页There are many ways you can strengthen your muscles, whether you're at home or in a gym.
彩之网首页Examples of muscle-strengthening activities:
- carrying heavy shopping bags
- tai chi
- lifting weights
- working with resistance bands
- doing exercises that use your own body weight, such as push-ups and sit-ups
- heavy gardening, such as digging and shovelling
- wheeling a wheelchair
- lifting and carrying children
Try these exercise routines:
- strength workout videos in the NHS Fitness Studio
- Strength and Flex, a 5-week exercise plan for beginners, to improve your strength and flexibility
彩之网首页You can do activities that strengthen your muscles on the same or different days as your aerobic activity – whatever's best for you.
彩之网首页Muscle-strengthening exercises are not always an aerobic activity, so you'll need to do them in addition to your 150 minutes of aerobic activity.
Physical activity recommendations for other age groups:
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Page last reviewed: 8 October 2019
Next review due: 8 October 2022