Back to Blogs
2m read

Physical Activity Basics



The CDC recommends that adults aged 18 years and older get 2.5 hours per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity and two or more days each week of muscle-strengthening exercises to receive health benefits.

AEROBIC ACTIVITY (or “cardio”) is any activity that increases your heart rate and breath rate above normal.

  • 2.5 hours per week of moderate-intensity movement is the recommended amount of aerobic activity for adults (that’s about 22 minutes per day)
  • “Moderate-Intensity” can be measured by the ‘talk test’. If you can talk normally while being active, take it up a notch until it’s semi-challenging to carry on a conversation
  • Examples of moderate-intensity activity include: brisk walking or cycling, shooting baskets, playing tag with the kids, clearing the garage, raking leaves


MUSCLE-STRENGTHENING ACTIVITIES should work your major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, chest, abdomen, shoulders and arms) and be done at an intensity that makes it difficult to complete the final repetition without help.

  • A Repetition is one complete movement of an activity, like lifting a weight or doing a sit-up
  • A Set is a group of consecutive repetitions (1 set = 8-12 repetitions)
  • At least one set two times per week for each major muscle group is the recommended amount of muscle-strengthening activity for adults



Our Y Wellness Coaches are trained to help you design a physical activity routine that fits your current lifestyle and workout-time parameters. Schedule your FREE appointment at your preferred YMCA location today and get started with the best routine for you!