Unfortunately, over half of all Australians aren’t getting the recommended amount of physical activity.
So how much exercise should I be doing?
Below are some guidelines from the Australian Government Department of Health. As always, if you are starting a new exercise programme or have a chronic illness such as heart disease, please consult a medical professional before commencing a new exercise routine.
The Australian Government Department of Health Recommendations for 18-64 yo
- 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 ½ to 5 hours) of moderate intensity physical activity or 75 to 150 minutes (1 ¼ to 2 ½ 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 days each week.
Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines
- Minimise the amount of time spent in prolonged sitting.
- Break up long periods of sitting as often as possible.
The Australian Government Department of Health Recommendations for Older Australians (65 years and older)
Being physically active and staying fit and healthy will help you to get the most out of life, whatever your age. These recommendations are designed to help older Australians achieve sufficient physical activity for good health as they age. They are mainly for people who are not currently building 30 minutes of physical activity into their daily lives, and are looking for ways they can do so.
Being physically active for 30 minutes every day is achievable and even a slight increase in activity can make a difference to your health and wellbeing.
Physical Activity Recommendations
There are five physical activity recommendations for older Australians. These recommendations are also available in the Choose Health: Be Active – A physical activity guide for older Australians brochure which provides further information about physical activity for older Australians.
- Older people 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.
- Older people 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.