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September 2011

Fitness Facts

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Girl playing soccer.Girls need to keep moving to stay well. You may have heard that message loud and clear. But are you clear about the types of activity girls need? Keep reading to learn the basics of a fitness plan that can help build bones, fight disease, boost mood, and more.

  • Girls should aim for at least 60 minutes of activity every day. They can be active for an hour all at once. Or, they can be active a few times throughout the day. They should just make sure to get moving for at least 10 minutes at a time.
  • Girls should spend most of their 60 minutes on aerobic activity. Aerobic activity makes a girl's heart pump harder. Examples include walking quickly, dancing, and jumping rope.
  • Girls should include muscle-strengthening activity as part of their 60 minutes on at least three days each week. Exercises such as push-ups and squats build muscles by making them work harder.
  • Girls should do bone-strengthening activity as part of their 60 minutes of activity on at least three days a week. Bone-strengthening usually comes from exercise that makes a person's feet hit the ground. Examples include walking, running, and jumping rope.

Does this sound like a lot? Keep in mind that many activities fit all three types of activity. For example, jogging is aerobic, muscle-strengthening, and bone-strengthening. Also, if a girl hasn’t been active in a while, make sure she starts out slowly. Some physical activity is better than none, and doing any amount of physical activity offers some health benefits.

Want more info? Our Fitness section for parents and caregivers covers topics like stretching, how a girl can tell if she's working out hard enough, and ways to help a girl get moving. You also can look with your girl at our Fitness section for girls, which includes a fitness planner, ways to beat common obstacles, and lots of useful tips.

Safety first

Don’t forget that girls need to stay safe while they get fit. Make sure girls use the right helmets and other safety equipment. And be a great role model by strapping on the right gear yourself.


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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women's Health


Content last reviewed September 01, 2011
Page last updated October 31, 2013