What is the recommended amount of exercise for seniors in a day?
Older adults need to be active every day to stay healthy or improve their health. They have to do physical activity, including fitness, strength, flexibility, and balance. It is better for seniors aged 65 or older to do at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity and most preferably every day. Even if it is light, doing exercise is better than not doing it. Daily activities such as shopping housework are not moderate-intensity because they do not increase your heart rate.
Every week, seniors over 65 should perform moderate aerobic exercise for at least 2.5 hours (150 minutes), which means at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. Or, they can choose to engage in activities that require a higher level of effort, such as jogging, for about an hour and fifteen minutes (75 minutes) a week. That’s about 10 to 11 minutes of daily exercise.
It’s recommended to do 30 minutes of exercise 5 times a week. This doesn’t necessarily mean training at the gym or running, but just doing an activity that increases your heart rate and gets you moving, for example.
2–3 times a week is ideal for a beginner runner if you can space it out throughout the week (run one day; don’t run the next, etc.). It lets your body start recovering after each run. And those “rest” days can be active rest days where you walk or stretch to help your recovery. You should be recovered from the last workout (1–2 days); if not, it probably means you did too much if it’s taking you more than two days not to be sore.
It’s better to take the first two weeks to ramp your intensity up preventing you from getting hurt.
Before starting any exercise, check with the doctor to determine the recommended amount of exercise for your age. Older adults must stay active as their abilities (mobility, stamina) and conditions allow, but at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise in a week or at least 75 minutes of intense aerobic physical activity throughout the week is highly suggested for seniors. As long as the build-up is gradual, allowing the body to adjust and train within the limits of each individual capability, there is no reason to limit an older adult’s daily amount of exercise.
We can trace back the occurrence of many chronic diseases like heart diseases, strokes, diabetes mellitus, and Alzheimer’s to a lack of physical activity alongside poor dietary habits such as eating more than the recommended amount of fast food.
Seniors can avoid these unhealthy results and benefit from participating in at least 150 minutes of aerobic activities with moderate intensity and 75 minutes of the same aerobic exercises with vigorous intensity per week. If we do the math, we’ll end up with a total of about 30 minutes of workout and exercise per day.
Professionals also recommend that older adults engage in activities that involve all major muscle groups of their bodies for at least two days per week while also considering adding balance-improving exercises to their workout schedule. This recommendation is especially for those who suffer from imbalance and worry about falling.
Safety should be a senior’s top priority, so they should consult a physician before starting a new workout schedule.