The amount of exercise, water, and sunlight you should get

There are a lot of health fads. Because I care about distributing truths as such I think it is appropriate to clarify three of the most misunderstood aspects of proper living: exercise levels, water intake, and sunlight exposure. Click on the headlines for sources.


Adults need a minimum of 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity physical activity, and you should aim for at least 22 minutes of movement a day. You don’t necessarily need to go to the gym or take up jogging. Pick any activity that gets your heart rate up, including walking. In addition, the guidelines call for adults to do muscle-strengthening activity on two or more days a week.

In sum,


  • Every day: active play for preschoolers throughout the day
  • Every day: 60 minutes of aerobic physical activity for children
  • 3 days/week: muscle-strengthening and bone-strengthening (i.e. jump-roping or running) activities for children


  • Every day: move more, sit less. Remember, something is better than nothing.
  • Every week: at least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity throughout the week
  • 2+ days/week: muscle-strengthening activities that use all major muscle groups

Older Adults

  • Follow the guidelines for adults
  • Each week: balance training, as well as aerobic and mus cle-strengthening activities
  • Each week: If you can’t complete 150 minutes of aerobic activity due to chronic conditions, do as much as your abilities allow
  • If you have chronic conditions, learn how those affect your ability to do physical activity safely


The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determined that an adequate daily fluid intake is:

  • About 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids for men
  • About 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women

These recommendations cover fluids from water, other beverages and food. About 20 percent of daily fluid intake usually comes from food and the rest from drinks.

Eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day is a good goal.


Weather permitting, you should get 10-30 minutes of midday sunlight on about a third of your skin, so maybe wear shorts and a tank top. After that amount of time, it is advisable to put on sunscreen to protect your skin.