Fitness Training

with

Philip Leung

Exercise Guidelines and Tips

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released updated physical activity guidelines in 2008. View PDF Version

Please keep in mind that these are only the minimum recommendations for the average healthy adult to maintain health and reduce the risk for chronic disease. Depending on your goals, you may need to increase volume, intensity or both.

Healthy Adults Under Age 65

Do moderately intense cardio 30 minutes, five days a week

Moderate intensity: raising your heart rate and breaking a sweat, yet still being able to carry on a conversation.

or

Do vigorously intense cardio 20 minutes, three days a week

and

Do 8-10 strength training exercises, 8 to 12 repetitions of each exercise twice a week.

It should be noted that to lose weight or maintain weight loss, 60 to 90 minutes of daily physical activity may be necessary. The 30-minute a day recommendation is for the average healthy adult to maintain health and reduce the risk of chronic disease.

Tips for meeting the guidelines

With busy work schedules, family obligations, and packed weekends, it can often be difficult to get the recommended amount of physical activity. Try these tips for incorporating exercise into your life:

Adults Age 65 and Older

(or adults 50-64 with chronic conditions, such as arthritis)

Do moderately intense aerobic exercise 30 minutes a day, five days a week

Moderate intensity: raising your heart rate and breaking a sweat, yet still being able to carry on a conversation.

or

Do vigorously intense aerobic exercise 20 minutes a day, 3 days a week

and

Do 8-10 strength-training exercises, 10-15 reps of each exercise 2-3 times per week

If you are at risk of falling, you should perform balance exercises.

Both aerobic and muscle-strengthening activity is critical for healthy aging. Moderate-intensity aerobic exercise means working hard at about a level-six intensity on a scale of 10. You should still be able to carry on a conversation during exercise.

Older adults or adults with chronic conditions should develop an activity plan with a health professional to manage risks and take therapeutic needs into account. This will maximize the benefits of physical activity and ensure your safety.

Key points for older adults

Although the guidelines for older adults and adults with chronic conditions are similar to those for younger adults, there are a few key differences and points to consider.