How much exercise is enough?
A common question we often get asked as Exercise Physiologists is how much exercise is enough? This really varies from person to person, depending on your age and health status. So, how do we exercise right for our stage of life?
Children should aim to accumulate 60mins of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity EVERY DAY!
- This should include a variety of aerobic activities
- Aim to include strengthening activities for muscles and bones 3 days per week
Adults should aim to accumulate 150-300mins (2.5hrs – 5hrs) of moderate intensity physical activity per week, doing strengthening activities on at least 2 days.
- Be active on most, preferably all days
- If you do not currently do any physical activity, start slow and gradually build up to the recommendations
Older adults (65+) should do something active everyday and aim to accumulate 30mins of moderate intensity physical activity per day.
- It is safe to continue with vigorous activity if previously engaging in vigorous physical activity
- Strengthening and balance activities are essential
Those living with chronic conditions
People living with chronic conditions are still encouraged to meet these guidelines with the guidance of an exercise professional to help tailor this to your condition. For example, people living with diabetes should exercise at least every 48hrs to help with insulin and glucose regulation or people living with chronic fatigue may need the intensity adjusted for high fatigue versus low fatigue days.
What is moderate/vigorous intensity?
Moderate intensity physical activity is that activity that requires a moderate level of exertion. This may lead to a small “huff” and “puff” but you should still be able to maintain a conversation. It means that you’d be working roughly at an intensity of 6-8 out of 10.
Vigorous intensity activity is exactly how it sounds… Vigorous! This is those activities where we might feeling out of breath, working up a sweat or if we rate it on a scale we are working at an 8-10 out of 10.