Recommendations for Physical Activity and Exercise

Exercise and physical activity is an important part of our weekly routine. It can be times like these that affect our activity and exercise goals; where normal routines are tossed out the window and more people are working from home, becoming more sedentary without the set activity of commuting to work or walking to lunch.

Not only has routine changed but you may also feel restricted to exercise with limitations on attending swimming pools, gymnasiums, social or competitive sports and community activities.

It is more important than ever to remember why exercise and activity is so important and what the recommended levels are. Exercise and activity is important for improving and maintaining our cardiorespiratory fitness, muscular fitness, bone health and mental health.

It’s not only a change in routine that can affect activity levels. At this time of year when it starts to get colder and darker, it is easier to stay in bed or stay indoors and leave exercise behind. So, not only is exercise important for our health, but it can add some routine to our lives when the days have lost their regular structure or motivation is low.

The World Health Organisation recommends:

  • Adults aged 18-64 should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity a week or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity a week. This should include muscle strengthening exercise on two or more days a week.
  • Adults aged over 65 years should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity a week or do at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity a week. This should include balance and falls prevention exercise on 3 or more days a week and muscle strengthening exercises on two or more days a week. When older adults cannot do the recommended amount of activity, they should be as physically active as their abilities and conditions allow.
  • Children aged 5-17 years old should do at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity daily. Activity that includes muscle and bone strengthening should be done at least three times a week.

Physical activity can include both outdoor and indoor exercise depending on what you’re comfortable with. Physical activity can include running, walking, gardening, hiking, dancing, cycling, and even your household chores. Great exercise to complete at home can also include online yoga classes, stretch classes and online Mat Pilates classes which we now offer through Revive.

Pregnant and postpartum women, persons with cardiac conditions or those with chronic conditions may need to take extra precautions and seek further medical, physiotherapy or exercise physiology advise before striving to achieve the above physical activity goals.