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How Much Should You Be Exercising Based on Your Age?

older men and women stretching outside

Physical activity is important at every age in our lives. It can improve brain health, help manage weight, strengthen bones and muscles, and improve our ability to do daily activities. Depending on your age, the amount of exercise and types of exercises you need are different.

I've created a guide to help you understand how much exercise you should be incorporating into your schedule along with some examples of exercises you can try.

 

Ages 6-17

  • Ages 6 - 17 need at least one hour of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day.
  • At least 3 times a week, children and adolescents need to include: vigorous activities like soccer or running, activities that strengthen muscles like climbing, and activities that strengthen bones like jumping rope.
  • Exercises should include a variety of enjoyable activities.

Ages 18-64

  • Ages 18 - 64 should exercise for at least 2.5 hours every week.
  • Exercises should be of moderate intensity, such as brisk walking.
  • At least 2 times a week, include exercises that help to strengthen muscles.

Ages 65+

  • Seniors can follow the same guidelines as younger adults.
  • Include strength and balance training at least 2 times a week.
  • If you have any conditions that can affect your ability to do regular physical activity, make sure you do it in moderation or find ways that are safe for you to exercise.

 

Examples of Exercises:

Moderate Intensity
  • brisk walking, cycling on trails, tennis, yoga, gardening, dancing, or swimming
Vigorous Intensity
  • running, hiking, soccer, basketball, stair climbing, or resistance training

Muscle-Strengthening

  • lifting weights, hiking, cycling, dancing, push-ups, sit-ups, or squats
Bone-Strengthening
  • walking, hiking, running, climbing stairs, tennis, dancing, or jumping rope

Balance Training

  • single leg lifts, heel-to-toe walking, side stepping, or tai chi

 

**Always consult with your healthcare professional before starting any new exercise routine.

 

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