Physical Activity

Regular exercise makes you strong and flexible. It also reduces stress, boosts energy and helps you control your weight. Exercise can even help you sleep better!

With benefits like these, it’s no wonder the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week and strength training two or more days per week.

Get started doing what you enjoy

So what do you enjoy doing? Pick your Healthy Direction, and get moving:

  • Walking is a great physical activity for many people. With just a good pair of walking shoes and comfortable clothes, you can exercise anywhere and get a great aerobic workout. Other aerobic activities you may enjoy are swimming, cycling or jogging. You could also try fitness DVDs that you can follow at home.
  • Lifestyle physical activity also counts. Do you like to garden? Dance around the house when no one’s home? Do you skip the elevator and take the stairs? Walk to the store instead of driving there? Activities like these add up and can be as effective as a workout at the gym. So dig, dance and climb to your heart’s content.
  • Strength exercises such as lifting weights, doing push-ups, sit-ups or any other type of strength training are another form of physical activity. Strong muscles protect your joints, reshape your body, and actually burn calories, even when you’re standing still.
  • Stretching keeps you toned and limber, prevents injuries, and helps you move freely. Simple stretches or yoga practices protect you from muscle tears and aches and help you move more comfortably throughout your day.

Just for Members

Get and stay fit with the following Healthy Directions programs, designed exclusively for Health New England members. Program materials and resources for individual participants and employers are available upon request for each of the activities below.

View More Physical Activity Programs >

Jump Start Program 

The Jump Start Program is a progressive health activity challenge that focuses on three activities known to promote health: hydration, physical activity, and fruit and vegetable consumption. It is progressive in that every week you will add a new activity, maintain the activity of the previous week(s), and track your progress. The challenge can run from 4 to 16 weeks.

Associate of Steel Challenge

The Associate of Steel Challenge is a great activity for the worksite. Working as part of a team or as an individual, participants challenge themselves to complete a triathlon challenge over the course of a month, which includes biking, swimming and running/walking. 

The Turkey Trot Challenge

The Turkey Trot Challenge is a fun 4-week physical activity challenge that encourages participants to increase their daily steps. Individuals must complete a minimum of 6,000 to 9,000 steps per day to successfully outpace the "turkey hunter." The hunter’s steps are set at the start of the challenge, and will move between 6,000 to 9,000 steps per day. The hunter’s daily steps are above the sedentary level (defined as fewer than 5,000 steps per day). The Turkey Trot is a great activity for an employer's worksite. Reach out to the Healthy Directions team to learn more about this program and how it can be implemented.

Couch to Finish Line 5K Challenge

The Couch to Finish Line 5K Challenge is a program that helps make training for and running in a 5K simple and easy. A 12-week training guide helps you with your weekly goals and helps you track your progress as you get ready to run that 5K. Best of luck on your journey!

10,000 Steps Challenge

The 10,000 Steps Challenge is a 4-12 week program that is a great activity to do as an individual or as part of a worksite wellness program. Participants are challenged to reach 10,000 steps per day. Staying physically active is essential to good health, and higher volumes of steps per day have been shown to improve overall health status, including better weight management. Reach out to the Healthy Directions Team to learn more about this program and how it can be implemented in your worksite.

Get Up & Move Challenge

Exercise can include any aerobic movement you enjoy, including walking, biking or swimming. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends individuals get at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity per week. Participants of the 6-week Get Up & Move Challenge can track aerobic activity while receiving all the health benefits of being physically active.

Core Challenge

The Core Challenge is a 4-week workout designed to strengthen your abdominal muscles. These muscles aid in completing activities of daily living by affecting balance and stability. Provided exercises give you eight varieties, can be done anywhere, and only take 10 minutes each.

Strength Training Challenge

Learn how to increase muscle mass and strength during this 6-week program. Coupled with aerobic exercise, strength training is an important component of physical fitness that can also improve bone density and manage weight. This is a beneficial program for men and women of all ages.

We’re adding new programs all the time, so be sure to check back often.

If you have any questions or would like reference materials related to the activities above, please contact the Health Management Program Department at

All information contained on this website, including the preventive health recommendations, is for general information purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. For specific information or advice relating to your medical needs, please consult your primary care provider.