Basic Exercise Prescription

Physical Activity Guidlines

Adults aged 18-64 with no chronic conditions: Minimum of 150 minutes

of moderate physical activity a week (for example, 30 minutes per day,

five days a week) and muscle-strengthening activities on two or more

days a week (2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans).

For more information, visit www.acsm.org/physicalactivity. 


What about aerobic activity?

• The 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend either 150

minutes per week of moderate activity, 75 minutes of vigorous activity, or a

combination of both, for adults.

• Moderate activity is done at a pace where you can carry on a conversation, but

cannot “sing”. Examples include: brisk walking, slow biking, and

general gardening.

• Vigorous activity is done at a pace where you cannot carry on a conversation and

may be out of breath. Examples include: jogging/running, playing

tennis, and fast bicycling.

• Try your best to perform your activity in “bouts” that are at least 10 minutes long

(Example – 3 bouts of 10 minutes each day for a total of 30 minutes of activity).


What about strength training?

• The 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans also recommend that you do

muscle strengthening exercises two times per week to increase bone strength and

muscular fitness.

• Adults should perform 8-12 repetitions of activities that work your large muscle

groups, such as the legs, hips, abdomen, back, chest, shoulders, and arms.


Get Active

Adults who are physically active are healthier and less likely to develop many chronic diseases than adults who aren’t active — regardless of their gender or ethnicity. 

Basic Exercise Prescription