top of page
  • wellnessforthebody

Physical Activity Guidelines - How much exercises do we need to stay healthy?

Oleksii (Alex) Gorobet, RMT - Registered Massage Therapist

physical activity

“Sit less, move more, sleep better, eat healthier”. Everybody knows that. The question is - do we know, how much less or more exactly? What does an optimal day schedule look like for my age? And how does it help me to be healthy?


We are going to answer these questions, based on the Canadian guidelines and recommendations.


Why do we need to exercise?


Physical activity is essential for our health. Exercising:

  • gives us energy

  • maintains our balance, strength, adaptivity

  • decreases stress, improves mood and sleep

  • makes us stronger

  • prolongs independence as we age

It also helps prevent these chronic diseases:

  • stroke

  • cancer (colon, breast)

  • obesity

  • hypertension

  • heart disease

  • type 2 diabetes


Some studies show a positive effect of regular exercises on mental health, reducing the rate and severity of dementia and Alzheimer disease.


Types of physical activities include aerobic, muscle-strengthening, bone-strengthening, balance, and flexibility activities.

TYPE

DURATION

INTENSITY

POSITIVE EFFECTS

EXAMPLES

AEROBIC (CARDIO)

Longer

30+ min

Low to moderate

Heart, circulation, lungs, cholesterol, stamina, sleep

Jogging, bicycling, swimming, walking, rowing

STRENGTHENING

Short sets

Moderate to vigorous

Muscular strength, bone density

Weights, push-ups, sit-ups, resistance bands, heavy yard-work

FLEXIBILITY

Long

Low to moderate to vigorous

Joints, tendons, ligaments, fascia

Stretching, yoga, pilates, tai-chi

BALANCE

Any

Low to moderate

Balance

Tai-chi, standing on one foot, heel-to-toe walk

What are the recommendations for physical activity for different age groups?


From children to seniors, regular physical activity is one of the pillars of a healthy life. Because it does so much for us, it is important to exercise no matter what age you are.

A lifelong exercise program is the surest way to help you live and thrive into old age.

However, different ages have different goals and require different approaches to the exercises.

AGE GROUP

MAIN GOALS

HOW

HOW MUCH

NOTE

Children

5-11 years

​- Maintain growth and development

- Encourage socializing

- Establish the healthy habits

Walking the dog, walking/cycling to school, helping with shoveling, yardwork, groceries

​At least one hour of moderate to vigorous intensity daily

Youth

12-17 years

- Provide energy and development needs

- Build up strong muscles and bones

- Improve endurance, strength, and emotional balance

​Doing walk, run, or bike instead of getting a ride.

Playing games in teams

At least one hour of moderate to vigorous intensity daily

Combination of aerobic and strengthening activities is preferable

Adults

18-64 years

- Maintain cardiovascular and musculo-skeletal health

- Cope with stress effectively

- Prevent major health risks

​Aerobic, strengthening, flexibility, balance exercises.

Think of trying meditation.

Outdoor activities

2.5hrs of moderate to vigorous activity every week to achieve health benefits.

Muscle strengthening activities at least twice a week

​Focus on moderate to vigorous aerobic activity

Older adults

65+ years

​- Maintain cardiovascular and mental health

- Keep joints and bones healthy

- Improve balance

- Improve aging

Balance, aerobic, flexibility, strengthening activities.

Outdoor, family time.

​2.5hrs of moderate to vigorous activities split into 10 min sessions.

Muscle and bone

strengthening exercises at least twice a week

​Focus on strengthening and balance exercises

References:

health.gov/paguidelines/pdf/paguide.pdf

food-guide.canada.ca/en/tips-for-healthy-eating/physical-activity-healthy-eating

59 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page