Physical Activity: How Much Is Enough?

Physical activity provides profound health benefits.

Physical activity provides profound health benefits. Most people are aware of the surgeon general's report that "significant health benefits can be obtained with a moderate amount of physical activity, preferably daily."

Benefits include improved ability to perform daily tasks, enhanced feelings of well-being, decreased anxiety and depression, increased heart and lung functioning, and protection against development of chronic diseases. These benefits are even more important if you have a disability because of the increased risk for developing secondary conditions and the known positive impact on health, independence, and productivity levels.

When beginning an exercise program, always start out slowly and increase gradually. For some people, intermittent daily exercise may be the best choice if prolonged exercise is not sustainable. Your body does not know the difference between three 10-minute bouts of moderate-intensity physical activity or 30 minutes of continuous moderate-intensity exercise. The key here is maintaining the intensity level during all workouts.


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