More Americans are meeting recommended physical activity guidelines, but we still have a long way to go. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 24 percent of U.S. adults met the combined aerobic and muscle-strengthening physical activity guidelines in 2017, up from 18 percent in 2008. People who live in urban areas are more likely to meet physical activity guidelines (25 percent) than those in rural areas (20 percent), and no changes were reported among Hispanics and adults living in the South.
Physical activity is associated with lower risk for several chronic diseases, including coronary heart disease, stroke, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. Recommendations include at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activities (such as brisk walking, swimming, or playing tennis) and performing muscle-strengthening activities (such as digging in the garden, lifting weights, or doing push-ups and squats) at least two days a week.