The national exercise guidelines for the United States are provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in the form of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. The second edition of these guidelines was published in 2018. The recommendations for different age groups are as follows:
Preschool-aged children (ages 3-5 years):
Should be physically active throughout the day to enhance growth and development.
Children and adolescents (ages 6-17 years):
Should engage in at least 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity daily, including aerobic, muscle-strengthening, and bone-strengthening activities.
Aerobic activities should make up the majority of the 60 minutes, and should be performed at least 3 days a week.
Muscle-strengthening and bone-strengthening activities should be performed at least 3 days a week.
Adults (ages 18-64 years):
Should engage in at least 150-300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, or 75-150 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity, or an equivalent combination of both per week.
Muscle-strengthening activities involving all major muscle groups should be performed on 2 or more days a week.
Older adults (ages 65 years and older):
Should follow the adult guidelines, as their abilities allow.
Should include balance training in addition to aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities.
Should consult with a healthcare professional about their level of physical activity, especially if they have chronic conditions.
Adults with chronic health conditions and disabilities:
Should follow the adult guidelines, as their abilities and conditions allow.
Should consult with a healthcare professional about their level of physical activity.
These guidelines emphasize the importance of regular physical activity for overall health and well-being. Some activity is better than none, and any increase in physical activity can provide health benefits.
Reference: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2018). Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2nd edition. https://health.gov/our-work/physical-activity/current-guidelines