Fitness helps you feel better and have more energy for work and leisure time. You’ll feel more able to do things like playing with your kids, gardening, dancing, or biking. Children and teenagers who are fit may have more energy and better focus at school.
When you stay active and fit, you burn more calories, even when you’re at rest. Being fit lets you do more physical activity. And it lets you exercise harder without as much work. It can also help you manage your weight.
Improving your fitness is good for your heart, lungs, bones, muscles, and joints. And it lowers your risk for falls, heart attack, diabetes, high blood pressure, and some cancers. If you already have one or more of these problems, getting more fit may help you control other health problems and make you feel better.
Being more fit also can help you to sleep better, handle stress better, and keep your mind sharp.
How much physical activity do you need for health-related fitness?
Experts say your goal should be at least 2½ hours of moderate to vigorous activity each week. It’s fine to be active in blocks of 10 minutes or more throughout your day and week. For example, you could:
Do some sort of moderate aerobic activity, like brisk walking.
Or do more vigorous activities, like running. This activity makes you breathe harder and have a much faster heartbeat than when you are resting.
Here’s an easy way to tell if your exercise is moderate: You’re at a moderate level of activity if you can talk but not sing during the activity. If you can’t talk while you’re doing the activity, you’re working too hard
Children need more activity. Encourage your child (ages 5 to 17) to do moderate to vigorous activity at least 1 hour every day.