Active Living - Physical Activity - How Much
How much physical activity and exercise do I need?

We recommended that older adults get a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate intensity, physical activity or exercise per day. However, it would be great and even more beneficial if older adults were working towards 60 minutes of moderate intensity activity each day. We also recommend that older adults do some form of strength training two day a week.
It is often difficult to understand what moderate or vigorous intensity means. Below are some examples of moderate and vigorous activities. However, it is important to remember that intensity is based on your current level of fitness.
Moderate Activity
While performing the physical activity, if your heart is beating noticeably faster—it's probably moderately intense. For some older adults, moderately-intense physical activities include:
  • walking
  • biking at a casual pace
  • dancing (ballroom, line dancing, jazz, or tap)
  • water aerobics
  • golfing without a cart
  • light gardening/yard work such as raking or pushing a power lawn mower
  • actively playing with children
  • doubles tennis
Vigorous Activity
For some older adults, vigorously-intense physical activities include:
  • jogging
  • swimming laps
  • singles tennis
  • heavy yard work
A little more, a little more often!
30 - 60 minutes of physical activity or exercise does not have to be done all at one time. You still receive health benefits if you split your activity or exercise into shorter 5, 10, or 15-minute segments. This often makes it more manageable for older adults to fit 30 - 60 minutes of exercise or activity into their day. Think of it like this:
  • 3 -6 – 10 minute segments
  • 2 - 4 – 15 minute segments
  • 1 -2 – 30 minute segments
There are many things that you can do to reach your goal of 30 – 60 minutes of physical activity or exercise every day. Listed below are examples of physical activities that you may already be doing regularly or may find easy to include in their daily routines:
  • Taking the stairs instead of the elevator
  • Doing housework
  • Gardening or yard work
  • Parking further away and walking to the store
  • Grocery shopping or shopping in general
  • Getting of the bus one stop earlier and walking the rest of the way
  • Folding the laundry
  • Playing with your grandchildren
  • Washing the car
All of these activities add up, and are great ways to be active. To reach their goal of 30 - 60 minutes of activity, older adults may need to include more structured forms of physical exercise in their day. These examples of more structured physical exercise are common among older adults:
  • Walking
  • Cycling
  • Swimming
  • Yoga
  • Tai-chi
  • Strength Training
  • Hiking
  • Canoeing
  • Golf
  • Fishing
  • Curling
  • Aqua-Fit Classes
  • Tennis
  • Badminton
  • Dancing
  • Pool
  • Shuffle Board
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