Physical activity and older adults

Physical activity and older adults

IN adults aged 65 years and above, physical activity includes leisure time physical activity (for example, walking, dancing, gardening, hiking, swimming), transportation (e.g. walking or cycling), occupational (if the individual is still engaged in work), household chores, play, games, sports or planned exercise, in the context of daily, family, and community activities.

In order to improve cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness, bone and functional health, reduce the risk of chronic lifestyle diseases, depression and cognitive decline:

· Older adults should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week or do at least 75 minutes of vigorous intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity activity.

· Aerobic activity should be performed in bouts of at least 10 minutes duration.

· For additional health benefits, older adults should increase their moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity to 300 minutes per week, or engage in 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity per week, or an equivalent combination of moderate-and vigorous-intensity activity.

· Older adults, with poor mobility, should perform physical activity to enhance balance and prevent falls on three or more days per week.

· Muscle-strengthening activities, involving major muscle groups, should be done on two or more days a week.

· When older adults cannot do the recommended amounts of physical activity due to health conditions, they should be as physically active as their abilities and conditions allow. – World Health Organization

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