Active Lifestyle

Why is exercise important?

Being active is important. It means doing physical things during your day. Regular exercise can lower your blood pressure by 5 to 8 points. It also makes your heart stronger and helps you feel less stressed. This includes activities like walking or jogging. It also includes strength exercises and stretching. Make sure to ask your doctor what type of exercise might be best for you.

How much exercise should I get?

What are the Different Types of Physical Activity?

  1. Aerobic Activity (cardio): Walking, jogging, biking, or swimming.
    • These activities use the muscles in your legs, arms, and hips.
  2. Muscle-Strengthening Activity (strength training): Activities include free weights, weight machines, and body weight exercises.
    • Muscle-strengthening activities strengthen multiple muscle groups.
  3. Bone-Strengthening Activity (weight-bearing): Exercises include jumping jacks, running, brisk walking, and weight-lifting exercises.
    • This type of activity makes bones stronger by working against gravity.
    • Bone-strengthening activities promote bone growth and strength.
  4. Flexibility Activities (stretching): Examples include wall stretches, hip flexor stretches, forward lunges, and seat stretches.
    • Flexibility activities involve stretching your major muscle groups to help you move better and should happen before and after exercises to prevent injuries.
    • Increased flexibility improves your range of motion at a joint or group of joints.

What are the Benefits of an Active Lifestyle?

Immediate Long-Term

Sleep: being active helps you sleep better. Exercise makes it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep.

Brain health: Staying active can help keep your brain healthy as you get older. It lowers your chance of getting Alzheimer’s, anxiety, and depression.

Less anxiety: lowers anxiety and stress

Heart health: Exercise makes your heart stronger, by pumping blood better throughout the body. This lowers your blood pressure and chance of heart disease, and it also helps control your cholesterol levels.

Blood pressure: lowers blood pressure

Cancer prevention: Regular exercise may lower your risk for some cancers like breast, colon, endometrium, bladder, esophagus, and lung cancers.

Feelings of happiness: working out releases chemicals in your brain called endorphins. They make you feel good and less stressed.

Healthy weight: helps maintain a healthy weight over time when combined with a reduced-calorie meal plan.

Bone strength: improves bone health

Balance and coordination: reduces the risk of falls.

Quality of life: improves overall quality of life.

What would you recommend for adults with physical disabilities?

Physical activity is important for everyone, including people with disabilities. Adults with disabilities should consider incorporating regular exercises to improve their fitness levels. They should talk to a coach to find out what kinds of exercise are best for them and how much they should do.

How do I prevent injury while engaging in physical activity?

Conducting physical activity safely can reduce the risk of physical injuries. Here are some tips to exercise without getting hurt:

  • Choose activities that match how fit you are and your goals.
  • Start slow – don’t do too much at first. Gradually do more over time.
  • Use the right gear, like sports equipment. Pick safe places to exercise and follow the rules, only exercise when and where it’s safe.
  • Talk to your doctor about what types and amounts of exercise is good for you.

Can I exercise at home?

Here are some tips for making an exercise plan at home:

  • Check with your doctor before starting or continuing an exercise routine.
  • Pick a spot in your home just for exercise.
  • Make a schedule for exercising that fits your fitness level. Include rest days too.
  • Stretch and warm up before. Cool down after each time you exercise.
  • Do different kinds of exercises like cardio and strength training. Use equipment at home like ellipticals, bikes, bands, or weights. Or go outside for activities like biking, walking, running.
  • Follow workout videos or use exercise apps on your phone or tablet.

Open communication with a healthcare provider is important in the management of hypertension. Below are a few questions you can ask your healthcare provider.

  • Here is a list of my current exercise routine. Do you consider these acceptable based on the physical activity guidelines?
  • What types of exercises or physical activities will be safe for me to conduct?
  • What are your recommendations for the frequency, intensity, and duration of my exercise routine?
  • What recommendations can you share to increase my physical activity level?

Active Lifestyle Quiz

If you’re overweight, you are more likely to develop high blood pressure.
High blood pressure harms your body over time by: (select 1)
Pregnancy‐related high blood pressure is temporary and does not require follow‐up after delivery.


American Heart Association. (2018, March 31). Frequently asked questions about physical activity.

Mount Sinai. (2023). High blood pressure – what to ask your doctor.

Cleveland Clinic. (2021). How to exercise at home during the COVID-19 pandemic (yes, it’s possible!).

Falk, M. (2020, March 20). Your comprehensive guide to at-home workouts. Shape.

Kaiser Permanente. (2023, March 27). Tips for a successful fitness routine.

Adapted from Physical activity guidelines for Americans. 2nd Edition (chapter 2, pg. 30)

Source: Physical activity guidelines for Americans. 2nd Edition (chapter 2, pg. 32)

Note. Adapted from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022). Benefits of physical activity.