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Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans

For substantial health benefits, do one of the following:

Aerobic:

  • Moderate intensity aerobic physical activity for 150 minutes a week. E.g. brisk walking or tennis.
  • Vigorous intensity aerobic physical activity for 75 minutes a week. E.g. jogging or swimming laps.
  • An equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity will also be beneficial.

Muscle-strengthening:

  • At least 2 days a week moderate or high intensity muscle strengthening activities should be performed as a portion of the daily 60 minutes of physical activity. E.g. lifting weights
For substantial health benefits, do one of the following:

  • Children and adolescents should do 60 minutes or more of physical activity daily.
  • It is important to encourage young people to participate in physical activities that are appropriate for their age, that are enjoyable, and that offer variety.

Aerobic:

  • Moderate or vigorous intensity aerobic physical activity should account for the majority of the 60 minutes of daily activity. Vigorous intensity physical activity should occur at least 3 days a week. E.g. running, biking, or dancing.

Muscle-strengthening:

  • At least 3 days a week muscle strengthening activities should be performed as a portion of the daily 60 minutes of physical activity. E.g. using playground equipment, climbing trees, or lifting weights.

Bone-strengthening:

  • At least 3 days out of the week bone strengthening activities should be performed as a portion of the daily 60 minutes of physical activity. E.g. jumping rope or running.
For substantial health benefits, do one of the following:

Aerobic:

  • If older adult is unable to perform 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity a week due to health concerns, they should be as physically active as the conditions allows.
  • Older adults should do exercises that maintain or improve balance if they are at risk of falling.
  • Older adults should be aware of their fitness level and its influence over the best intensity level for their situation.
  • Older adults with chronic conditions should be aware of any limitations presented by their condition and how those limitations affect their ability to be physically active.

Source – U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. Washington (DC): U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; 2008. ODPHP Publication No. U0036. Available at: http://www.health.gov/paguidelines.