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How much exercise do you need?
May 28, 2014

Doing regular physical activity reduces the risk of developing heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, some cancers, type 2- diabetes and osteoporosis. However, doctors and fitness experts recommend that you choose an exercise plan according to your age bracket, as well as your health history. This is especially relevant for those who have suffered from a heart ailment or have a history of cardiovascular disease in their family.

Children and young people (aged 5-18 years):

  • Moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity for at least 60 minutes and up to several hours every day.
  • Vigorous intensity activities, including those that strengthen muscle and bone, should be incorporated at least three days a week.

Adults (aged 16-64 years):

  • Over a week, activity should add up to at least 150 minutes (2½ hours) of moderate intensity activity in bouts of 10 minutes or more. For example, 30 minutes on at least five days a week.
  • Comparable benefits can be achieved by 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity spread across the week or combinations of moderate and vigorous intensity activity.

Older adults (aged 65 years and older):

  • Older adults who participate in any amount of physical activity gain some health benefits. Some physical activity is better than none, and more physical activity provides greater health benefits.
  • Older adults should aim to be active daily and, if possible, aim for the same amount of physical activity as younger adults.