Be Active – Physical activity Guidelines

Be Active - Guidance for the Physical activity Guidelines for Older Adults 2019

Be Active Physical Activity Guidelines Infographic 2019
"Each week older adults should aim to accumulate at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity, building up gradually from current levels. Those who are already regularly active can achieve these benefits through 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity, or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity, to achieve greater benefits. Weight-bearing activities which create an impact through the body help to maintain bone health."

The be active part of the guidelines hasn't changed,  the aim being to reach 150 minutes of moderate intensity a week. This doesn't have to be all at once and whilst it used to be advised to do it in chunks of 10mins or more it appears now that even shorter periods will work.  The evidence behind this suggestion shows that this can decrease the risk and/or progression of chronic diseases.  It can also help, in some cases, with mental health issues.

The key to this is moderate, it needs to be at a level to produce a small physical response in you. Don't worry, you don't need to be gasping for breath! You don't even need expensive (or cheap) gadgets (unless you find them a motivational tool) you just need to listen to your body. For a moderate intensity you can still have a conversation (so make your activity social) but you shouldn't have enough breath to sing a song. You might also feel a little warmer. The level of exertion that produces this result will be different for everyone.

Some of you may have heard that you should try and get 10,000 steps a day in. If this is at a moderate intensity then it defintely counts .

"Evidence suggests that 30 minutes of daily MVPA accumulated in addition to habitual daily activities in healthy older adults is equivalent to taking approximately 7,000 to 10,000 steps per day "

(MVPA is their way of saying Moderate to Vigourous Physical Activity)

For those of you who are able to meet the guidelines the following it has the following benefits (amongst many more).

  • You reduce the risk of progression of disabilities affecting the basic activities of daily living
  • Bone mineral density is greater, fantastic news for those who are at risk of Oseteoporosis
  • It may reduce the risk of cognitive impairment and dementia
  • It can reduce by half the odds of experiencing depression (this is with sessions of 30mins of moderate activity per day)

For those older adults who are already active keep doing what you are doing! But you might also like to add some vigorous aerobic activity in as well. Vigorous intensity activities will push your body a little further and require a higher amount of effort. You’ll probably get warm and begin to sweat. You won’t be able to talk much without getting out of breath. If you are not yet doing moderate intensity then don't go straight for this option, build up gradually!

This is not about doing 150 minutes or nothing, as the guidelines say every minute counts. Even if you have never exercised then today can be the day you start with a short walk! As you get stronger you can start to increase the time. You are never too old to see the benefits of exercise.

Next time we will discuss the Build Strength Guidelines

For more information on what I offer in the Chichester area please see my Personal Training and Classes page