Regular physical activity is one of the best ways for people over the age of 65 to prevent many age-related health problems, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

Bushwick Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing would like to go over federal guidelines when it comes to seniors and exercise.

Standard Guidelines

As a rule, people over the age of 65 who are generally fit with no limiting health conditions need at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week. Moderate intensity means anything that gets your heart beating faster than it normally does, and exercises can include brisk walking, swimming, biking, and even things you might not even think of like golfing, yardwork, or gardening.

Seniors should also take part in muscle-strengthening activity at least two days per week. This can be done with weights or by doing something functional like climbing stairs. It just needs to be something that works all major muscle groups: legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, arms. Heavy yardwork or gardening counts, as does exercises that use your body weight for resistance, such as push-ups and sit-ups.

Acceptable Variations

It’s perfectly okay to replace moderate-intensity aerobic activity with more vigorous intensity, such as jogging or running. If you choose to do that, only 75 minutes per week is necessary to satisfy the guidelines.

And going beyond those guidelines is encouraged. Going past 300 minutes of moderate-intensity or 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise per week will lead to even greater health benefits.

Finally, the most important thing to realize is that some physical activity is better than none.

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