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Recommendations for physical activity (65+ years)

Updated: May 29, 2020

The following is very similar to the recommendations for the general population, the balance and coordination being additions. So this can apply to everyone and what's wrong with a bit of balance training at any age?

Older adults who participate in any amount of physical activity gain some health benefits, including maintenance of good physical and cognitive function. Some physical activity is better than none and more physical activity provides greater health benefits.

So don't beat yourself up if you can't manage the following, you will soon. Your body adapts to the overload and what seems hard now is soon very manageable. As I used to say to the beginners in my running groups, it doesn't matter how little you do, or how slow you're going, you're going further and faster than everyone sat on the sofa!

Older adults should aim to be active daily. Over a week, activity should add up to at least 150 minutes (2.5hours) of moderate intensity activity in bouts of 10 minutes or more - one way to achieve this is to do 30 minutes on at least 5 days a week.

For those that are already regularly active at moderate intensity, comparable benefits can be achieved through 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity spread across the week or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity.

If you're a beginner or have a low fitness level don't try and do vigorous intensity training to start with. It won't work and could put you off of exercise for life and there's no health benefits in that.

Older adults should also undertake physical activity to improve muscle strength on at least two days a week, not on consecutive days.

Older adults at risk of falls should incorporate physical activity to improve balance and coordination on at least two days a week.

All older adults should minimise the amount of time spent being sedentary (sitting) for extended periods.

My own addition to the above recommendations are that flexibility training (stretches) are performed at least two days a week and there's no harm and lots of benefits in performing stretches daily.

I will give guidance and instruction on how to safely perform all of the above in later posts.

Again I hope that goes some way to explaining the structure of my classes.

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