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How much physical activity should adults get daily?

We recommend that all adults aim for 30 minutes of moderate daily activity that gets your heart going.

It's good to be active in different ways, including vigorous and moderate activities and strengthening exercises. Find your favourites and fit in at least one every day. There are lots of ways to fit physical activity into your day without going to a gym.

Moderate aerobic activity

Moderate aerobic activity makes you breathe harder and your heart beat faster. You should be able to talk but not sing.

  • walking quickly
  • skating
  • cycling
  • household chores like vacuuming or shovelling snow
a woman in a swimming pool

Vigorous aerobic activity

Vigorous aerobic activity makes your heart rate increase quite a bit. You won't be able to say more than a few words without pausing for a breath.

  • running or jogging
  • dancing
  • swimming
  • cross-country skiing
  • hiking uphill or with a heavy backpack
two men doing pushups

Strengthening activity

Muscle-strengthening activities build up your muscles.

  • push-ups and sit-ups
  • lifting weights
  • digging in the garden

Bone-strengthening activities help make your bones stronger.

  • rowing
  • carrying groceries
  • climbing stairs

Before you start any new exercise routine, it's a good idea to check with a healthcare professional. Your doctor may be able to suggest activities that suit your age, fitness level and general health – and let you know if there are any activities you should avoid.

For Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines, visit the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology.


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