Vaccination remains the strongest defense against COVID-19. Even as numbers in our community drop, it's important to remain vigilant. For more information about where you can schedule a vaccine, be tested for COVID-19 or learn more about the virus, visit https://www.bjc.org/coronavirus

COVID-19 Information
Select the search type
  • Site
  • Web
Go
The health library is currently experiencing some technical difficulties. We are working to resolve the issues now and apologize for the inconvenience.

Creating an Exercise Program

How to create an exercise program

Woman playing tennis.

Exercise is vital for your health. It can improve your overall sense of well-being. Even low-to-moderate intensity activities for 30 minutes a day can help. These can include:

  • Walking

  • Climbing stairs

  • Gardening

  • Yard work

  • Moderate-to-heavy housework

  • Dancing

  • Home exercise

Aerobic exercise

Aerobic activities are best for the fitness of your heart and lungs. Do these several times a week for 30 to 60 minutes each time. Experts advise adults do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity a week. Regular aerobic activity increases your ability for exercise. It helps prevent heart disease and even some types of cancer. It may help to lower blood pressure. These activities can include:

  • Brisk walking

  • Running

  • Swimming

  • Playing tennis

  • Cycling

  • Roller skating

  • Jumping rope

Strength exercise

Experts advise that adults do exercise that keeps muscles strong. Do these at least 2 times a week. They should include the major muscle groups. This means your legs, hips, back, chest, arms, shoulders, and stomach. These activities can include:

  • Lifting weights

  • Using resistance bands

  • Doing push-ups

  • Yoga

  • Pilates

Benefits of regular physical activity

The benefits of physical activity include:

  • Improves blood flow throughout your body

  • Keeps your weight under control

  • Improves your blood cholesterol levels

  • Prevents and manages high blood pressure

  • Prevents bone loss

  • Boosts your energy level

  • Releases tension

  • Improves your sleep

  • Improves your self-image

  • Helps manage stress

  • Counters anxiety and depression

  • Improves thinking ability

  • Increases your enthusiasm and optimism

  • Increases your muscle strength

  • Increases endurance

A daily exercise program is a way for you to share an activity with your family and friends. It helps you keep good heart-healthy habits. Daily exercise can help your child prevent obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart attack and stroke later in life. If you are an older adult, daily activity can help delay or prevent chronic illness. This will help you keep your quality of life and independence.

Sign Up Today for Free e-Newsletters

Get the latest in medical technology, research and disease prevention sent to your inbox.
Find a doctor or make an appointment: 866.867.3627
General Information: 314.747.3000
One Barnes-Jewish Plaza
St. Louis, MO 63110
© Copyright 1997-2022, Barnes-Jewish Hospital. All Rights Reserved.