Are you getting the most out of your exercise time?

Feeling stuffed? You may not be surprised to know that exercise may help keep your waistline in check. But most Americans don’t exercise often enough to reap the benefits, according to a recent national survey.

Most Americans don’t exercise often enough to reap the benefits of exercise. (Getty Images)

A recent national survey of more than 1,500 adults conducted by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) found that less than half of American adults engage in an activity that gets them the recommended 150 minutes per week of physical activity.

For most Americans, the task of walking that many steps a week has proved daunting. In fact, more than four out of five Americans said they haven’t walked more than 150 minutes in a week in the past 12 months.

Given that exercise plays such a critical role in managing weight, it’s no wonder that exercise is one of the best things you can do to increase your lifetime physical activity. In fact, just 20 minutes of light to moderate physical activity each day can do wonders for your body.

While it’s common knowledge that physical activity improves our health and helps us feel healthier, few people have any idea how physical activity affects their bodies and mind. So ACSM teamed up with UCLA to create a new way to track your activity levels and learn the health benefits of exercise.

The ACSM/UCLA Exercise Activity Guide is the first guide of its kind — a test-drive device that gives you a physical assessment of your activity level. The device — which uses a built-in accelerometer and a color thermometer to track your activity level — can be worn on a wrist, on a belt or clipped to your clothing.

Synchronize the device with your weight and your activity level can reveal how much activity you get — and how much progress you need to make. Once the “activity score” is collected, the link to a fitness app gives you vital information about your activity levels, let you track and plan your physical activity and personalize step goals. You can log your activity with the ACSM FitKit application, and access information on health trends, wellness trends and lifestyle information from the ACSM website.

Use the FitKit for free at and ACSM’s website to sign up for an ongoing ACSM/UCLA Exercise Activity Guide membership and participate in the ACSM Health Metrics survey. If you feel like your activity level needs to improve, and the ACSM and UCLA HealthMetrics surveys are helpful in tracking that improvement, you might consider joining our online fitness community.

Discover how being active can give you back your health — and then join us at to find out how working out can save your life.

This article was written by Amanda Levine, the new vice president of communications and brand development at ACSM.

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