How Much Should Older Adults Exercise?


Fairfield Family Care pic

Fairfield Family Care

Based in Stamford, Connecticut, Fairfield Family Care provides non-medical home care to hospice patients, new and expectant mothers, and people with disabilities. Led by Gary Ferone, Fairfield Family Care helps clients with everything from everyday tasks such as dressing and eating to going on walks.

Routine physical activity is an important part of staying healthy as one ages. Exercise boosts adults’ muscular and cardiorespiratory fitness and reduces the risk of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), cognitive decline, and depression. According to recommendations from the WHO and CDC, people over the age of 65 should get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise each week, assuming they are not limited in mobility. In addition, adults over 65 years old should complete at least two days of strength exercises each week.

Moderate aerobic exercise increases both the heart and breathing rates while still allowing individuals to carry a conversation. While many older adults focus on walking due to its accessibility, swimming or using a stationary bike are excellent choices for those with issues such as arthritis in the hips or knees.

Meanwhile, vigorous exercise is defined as exercise that raises the heart rate while causing rapid breathing that eliminates the ability to carry a conversation. Depending on a person’s fitness level, bike riding, swimming, and walking may be considered an exercise of either vigorous or moderate intensity.

People with limited mobility or other issues that limit the amount of exercise they can get should still try staying as physically active as possible. Some physical activity is better than no activity at all.