How much and what type of exercise should I be doing?
Jason Passlow from PLUS FITNESS in Narrabeen is here with another interesting article about what kind of exercise you should be doing which is a follow on article from ‘Why exercise matters’ which you can read here.
“There are many good reasons to exercise. But what sort of exercise should you be doing and how much?”
It’s a good question, and the answer is: it depends. While almost everyone will benefit from being more active, the type and amount of exercise that is right for you will depend on several factors including your age, your current fitness level, your exercise goals and any health problems you might have.
However, there are also some general guidelines that most people can follow to get started.
General physical activity recommendations
Based on a comprehensive evidence review process, Australia’s Physical Activity & Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines provide a guide to recommended physical activity for the general population. There are separate guidelines for adults aged 18-64 years, older adults (65 years and over) and children.
Guidelines for adults aged 18-64 years:
- Doing any physical activity is better than doing none. If you currently do no physical activity, start by doing some, and gradually build up to the recommended amount.
- Be active on most, preferably all, days every week.
- Accumulate 150 to 300 minutes (2.5 to 5 hours) of moderate intensity physical activity or 75 to 150 minutes (1.25 to 2.5 hours) of vigorous intensity physical activity, or an equivalent combination of both moderate and vigorous activities, each week.
- Do muscle strengthening activities on at least 2-3 days each week.
- Minimise the amount of time spent in prolonged sitting.
- Break up long periods of sitting as often as possible.
Guidelines for older Australians (65 years and older):
- Should do some form of physical activity, no matter what their age, weight, health problems or abilities.
- Older people should be active every day in as many ways as possible, doing a range of physical activities that incorporate fitness, strength, balance and flexibility.
- Should accumulate at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity on most, preferably all days.
- Older people who have stopped physical activity, or who are starting a new physical activity, should start at a level that is easily manageable and gradually build up the recommended amount, type and frequency of activity.
- Older people who continue to enjoy a lifetime of vigorous physical activity should carry on doing so in a manner suited to their capability into later life, provided recommended safety procedures and guidelines are adhered to.
Guidelines for children and young people (ages 5-17 years):
- For health benefits, children and young people aged 5–17 years should accumulate at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity every day.
- Children and young peoples’ physical activity should include a variety of aerobic activities, including some vigorous intensity activity.
- On at least three days per week, children and young people should engage in activities that strengthen muscle and bone.
- To achieve additional health benefits, children and young people should engage in more activity – up to several hours per day.
- To reduce health risks, children and young people aged 5–17 years should minimise the time they spend being sedentary every day. This can be achieved by limiting the use of electronic media for entertainment (e.g. television, seated electronic games and computer use) to no more than two hours a day (lower levels are associated with reduced health risks) and breaking up long periods of sitting as often as possible.
Australian adults need to move more!
We all know that there are benefits of being more active. Yet the 2014-2015 Australian National Health Survey found that almost half (45%) of Australian adults (aged 18 to 64 years) were not participating in the recommended levels of physical activity (more than 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week or more than 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity per week, or an equivalent combination of both, including walking). Furthermore, 15% were inactive (reporting no exercise in the week of the survey).
So, in a nutshell, we all need to be moving more and sitting less. We should aim to exercise most days, but at least every alternate day. We should aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise (such as a brisk walk) most days and some form of resistance training (e.g. using weights or body weight) two to three times per week. And as we get older, flexibility and balance training become particularly important.
If you have any queries on where or how to get started feel free to give Jason Passlow a call at Plus fitness Narrabeen on 9913 2922 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
As always…Thanks for reading!
Stay Well !
Fin Mackenzie – Naturopath & Herbalist
BHSc(CompMed), ADNat, DNut, DRM, MATMS