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HIGH SCHOOL: I read that the government has rules for how much exercise teens should do. Is this true?

You are correct. Physical activity guidelines (rules) for Americans were published on October 7, 2008. These guidelines were published by the United States Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). The new guidelines are especially important because they are the first guidelines to cover all age groups from children through senior adults. They include guidelines for teens.

Fortunately, the authors of Fitness for Life planned ahead, and the information in your textbook is consistent with the new guidelines. So if you use the information in your textbook when you plan an activity program, you will meet the new guidelines for teens. The new guidelines for teens are included in the following table. You can learn more about them at

Physical Activity Guidelines for Children and Teens (Ages 6-17)

Amount of time One hour (60 minutes) or more each day
Aerobic activity Moderate activity (such as brisk walking) should be done daily, and vigorous activity (that makes your heart beat faster such as jogging or playing active games) should be done at least 3 days a week. Moderate and vigorous activity can be combined to earn the 60 minutes of daily activity.
Muscle fitness activity, including exercises to strengthen muscles and bones  Exercises to build the muscles and bones (such as elastic band resistance exercises or fitness calisthenics) should be performed at least 3 days a week.


U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 2008. Physical activity guidelines for Americans.