Getting and Staying Active

Why should I exercise?

Exercise—being physically active—is very important for all women. Being active can help you:

  • Lose or maintain weight
  • Have more energy
  • Sleep better
  • Enjoy sex more
  • Relieve stress and think better
  • Lower the chance you will have heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes
  • Strengthen your bones and muscles
  • Have fewer hot flashes if you are older


How active do I have to be to get the benefits of exercise?

Studies show that as little as 15 minutes of moderate exercise—like fast walking or dancing—3 times a week can improve the health of your heart. If you want to get the best benefits from exercise, try to increase your physical activity to at least 30 minutes, 5 times a week. If you have a serious health problem,be sure to talk with your health care provider before starting an exercise program.


Do I have to run or do a particular kind of exercise to get the benefits?

No! The best physical activity is the one you like. Also think about what activity will easily fit into your life.For many women, walking is the best exercise. It is also a good idea to do a number of different physical activities so you don’t get bored. Changing the physical activity you do can also help keep your interest in exercise and that will make it more likely that you will continue to exercise.


Is walking good exercise?

Walking is great exercise.But you have to walk fast. Swing your arms. Walk up and down hills.


I’ve tried to start an exercise program before, but I haven’t been able to keep exercising regularly. Are there tips that can help me get started and keep a more active life?

  • Start doing something today, even if it is small. For example,you could walk around the house 3 times, go up and down stairs, or walk around the block. Over time,you can increase how often you exercise, how long you exercise, and how hard you exercise.
  • Keep a record of your physical activity to help meet your goals. You can use this activity log or an app on your phone to help you keep track of your progress. Keep an exercise log for 1 month.After a month,you will have a habit that is hard to break. Celebrate!
  • Find a friend to exercise with you. A partner can keep you going when you feel like stopping.
  • If you miss a day (or a week) start again. Just think—if you fell down,you wouldn’t just lie there on the ground. You would get up and move. So keep going!

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