Most adults should aim for 2½ hours of exercise a week, and children and teens need at least an hour a day of brisk activity, the U.S. government recommends in new guidelines issued Tuesday.
The guidelines from the U.S. Health and Human Services Department are an exercise version of Canadian and U.S. food guides that offer nutritional advice.
"The easy message is get active, whatever your way is," said department secretary Michael Leavitt.
For couch potatoes, walking 10 minutes a day is a start, but people should slowly work up to the weekly minimum, said Rear Adm. Penelope Royall, deputy assistant secretary for disease prevention.
More than half of U.S. adults don't get enough physical activity to help their health, Leavitt said.