Physical Activity Guidelines for Mental Health

The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans’ Mental Health

Did you know that there are physical activity guidelines for Americans? These guidelines were created to help people of all ages stay healthy and improve their mental health. Anxiety and depression are two of the most common mental health conditions in the United States, and both can be improved with regular physical activity. In this blog post, we will discuss the physical activity guidelines for Americans and how they can benefit your mental health!

What are the physical activity guidelines for Americans, and why were they developed?

In 2019, the United States Department of Health and Human Services released their official physical activity guidelines for Americans of all ages. These guidelines recommend adults engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity per week, while children aged 6-17 should engage in at least 60 minutes of exercise each day. The guidelines were created to help prevent illneses such as serious mental illness and mental health conditions, as research shows that exercise can improve mental well-being and create a healthier lifestyle. Additionally, regular exercise can help reduce blood pressure, risk of stroke and heart disease. To ensure that mental health care is accessible for everyone in society, it is important to do our best to follow these weekly physical activity guidelines for a happier and healthier future.


According to mental health professionals, physical activity is just as important for mental health as it is for physical health. That’s why the US Department of Health and Human Services developed Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans in 2008. The guidelines recommend that adults should achieve at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity) per week. Additionally, adults should participate in muscle-strengthening activities on two or more days each week. It is hoped that following these guidelines will encourage people to take part in healthy activities which can improve mental well-being, save mental health services money, and conserve mental health resources.

What are the benefits of being physically active, according to the guidelines?

According to the World Health Organization, being physically active is a key component of mental health treatment. Regular exercise has mental health benefits that can improve overall quality of life and mental well-being, from reducing the severity of mental health issues such as anxiety and depression to increasing self-esteem and mental strength. By engaging in physical activity, people can decrease stress hormones, increase endorphins, improve cognitive function, and even sleep better. So if you’re wondering why it’s important to be physically active according to current guidelines, just remember that it is beneficial not just for your physical but also your mental health!


According to the guidelines, there are many benefits to being physically active. These benefits include medication assisted treatment, mental illnesses, and person’s mental health. By being physically active, you are able to increase your medication compliance and reduce psychiatric symptoms. This can lead to a decrease in hospitalization rates and length of stay. In addition, by being physically active you can also improve your self-esteem and body image, which can lead to better mental health overall.

How much physical activity do adults need each week, according to the guidelines?

Adults need to commit to being physically active on a weekly basis to ensure optimal overall health – this is according to official guidelines. According to these guidelines, adults should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week. Additionally, completing muscle-strengthening activities at least twice a week can be beneficial in preventing substance abuse, substance use, bipolar disorder, and major depression. It can also help to reduce mortality rates and improve overall health.

What types of activities count as being physically active, according to the guidelines?

The medical world has recognized that being physically active is key to improving medical conditions and early identification of diseases. Moreover, physical activity can lead to social well being beyond medical advantages – from reduced stress levels to feelings of happiness – thus enacting an all-encompassing measure of better health maintenance. It’s important that we take serious thoughts towards maintaining physical activity in some form, whether it’s through leisure sports or simply walking around the block. It might just be the one thing that changes everything!


In the past year, the guidelines for what counts as being physically active have changed and become more exciting! According to the fact sheet released by the Department of Health and Human Services, adults and adolescents should aim to get at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity per week. To make that easier, activities such as walking, using an elliptical or treadmill, dancing or biking can really help your overall physical health and life expectancy. To ensure that everyone is physically active, even those with chronic diseases such as arthritis or eating disorders, can still benefit from mild activities like prioritizing balance exercises. Even though it’s not quite party time yet don’t forget that you can still limit how much alcohol you consume in order to remain healthy, as well as find ways to treat any mental disorders so exercise won’t be a burden!

Are there any age restrictions on who can be physically active, according to the guidelines?

There are no strict age restrictions when it comes to getting physical activity, according to the guidelines. Everyone can benefit from recovery and exercise at any stage of life! Those with diabetes or any other health condition should be particularly mindful of their activity level – if you’re unsure whether it’s safe for you or your child, speak to your doctor or healthcare provider first. Along with exercising regularly, they can also evaluate symptoms and provide additional therapy or service if needed. Families with young children may need to find creative ways to get everyone moving together, like organizing fun outdoor activities such as sports or going on hikes. No matter age or stage in life, physical activity is about finding something that brings you joy – creating a healthy lifestyle for yourself and your family that fits best for everyone involved.


When it comes to physical activity, there are some communities in Texas that have guidelines on the age restrictions of those who can partake. Generally, people of all ages should have access to exercise opportunities to support and maintain their physical, social, psychological and emotional health; however, some communities may put different restrictions on age. Even if your town has an age restriction, you can still get your family, friends and communities involved in physical activities. From fun outdoor runs and strolls to organized sports teams or classes – there are dozens of ways for everyone to get active.

Are there any health conditions that would prevent someone from being physically active, according to the guidelines?

For many people, there are certain health conditions that can address physical activity with caution. These conditions can range from being psychological, emotional, or even physical in nature. For any health issue related to physical activity, it is best to consult with trained medical professionals before heading out for a run or hitting the gym. Symptoms of illnesses such as depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder should be addressed by counseling and some providers may suggest light physical exercise with regular mood check-ins to reduce feelings of low self-esteem or even suicide-related thoughts that may come up. People looking to address their physical condition should always measure the risk against the benefit of being active; because lives without movement could lead to a lack of mental clarity or worse. Ultimately, it’s important to remember no one knows your body better than you do–just make sure to talk to a doctor so they can help work with you on the best course of action.


While, in general, physical activity is seen as beneficial for everyone, there are certain conditions where physician guidance might be necessary due to the potential risks or negative effects that being physically active may have. Different types of health conditions can include chronic health diseases or disabilities that could be a hindrance to one’s overall wellness if proper precautions aren’t taken for prevention. Therefore, it is important to consult with your physician to understand the best way to be physically active safely and within any parameters or limitations that apply. Additionally, creating a network with other individuals who undertake physical activities in a similar circumstance in your local community can help you build positive habits towards physical activity while being mindful of any restrictions or guidelines.


Although the guidelines are intended for those considered to be physically inactive, it’s important for everyone to understand how being active can improve mental health. Being active doesn’t mean that you have to go to the gym seven days a week or run a marathon. It simply means incorporating some physical activity into your day-to-day life. If you’re not sure where to start, talk to your doctor or a certified fitness professional. And remember, even small changes can make a big difference in your mental health!


Learn how to fight depression with exercise, read here.