How much activity should you do?

Appetite for Life

How much activity should you do?

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Being active is important to help everyone, including older people, to stay healthy. The information below for staying active, is the same whether you live in your own home or in residential care.

Should I be active?

You should do some form of physical activity no matter your

  • age
  • weight
  • health problems
  • or abilities.

Be active every day

You should be active every day in as many ways as possible.

Try to do a range of physical activities that help with fitness, strength, balance and flexibility.

How much activity should I do?

You should do at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity on most days. Try to aim for everyday.

Moderate-intensity physical activity needs some effort but still allows you to speak easily while moving. Some examples include:

  • brisk walking
  • recreational swimming
  • housework including vacuuming and mopping
  • washing the car
  • social tennis
  • riding a bike.

Get moving again

If you have stopped being active or are starting a new physical activity, start at an easy level and slowly build up the amount per day or week.

As you start moving comfortably again, you may like to include more types of physical activity.

I've always been active, should I do less as I age?

If you continue to enjoy vigorous physical activity, carry on doing so in a way suited to your ability, as long as you stick to recommended safety procedures and guidelines.

Vigorous intensity physical activity needs more effort and makes you breathe harder and faster (‘huff and puff’). Some examples include:

  • running
  • fast cycling
  • tasks that involve lifting
  • carrying
  • digging.

This general advice was accurate at the time of publication (June 2020). For more information about physical activity and your individual needs, see your GP or an Accredited Exercise Physiologist.