Including regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health as an older adult (65 years and older). Less pain, better mood, and lower risk of many diseases are some of the health benefits from being active. It can make your daily life better, so it is easier to:
- Do everyday tasks, like chores and shopping
- Stay independent as you get older
- Keep up with the grandkids
How Much Activity Do Older Adults Need?
Focus on moving more and sitting less throughout the day. Always remember some activity is better than none. Check with your doctor before starting a physical activity routine. If you are 65 years of age or older, are generally fit, and have no limiting health conditions, you can follow these recommendations:
- At least 150 minutes a week of moderate intensity activity such as brisk walking or anything that gets your heart beating faster counts
- At least 2 days a week of activities that strengthen muscles
- Mix in stretches and activities to improve balance such as standing on one foot
Types of Activity for Older Adults
Ready to Get More Active?
Start gradually and increase the amount and intensity of physical activity over time. Evaluate your age, level of fitness and level of experience to help reduce injury risk when increasing physical activity. The best way to get started is to focus on a light- to moderate-intensity activity, such as walking 5–15 minutes per session, 2–3 times a week. Research has shown walking to be a low risk of injury and no known risk of severe cardiac events.
No matter your age, you can find a way that works for you. Build a weekly activity plan and find tips for fitting activity into your daily routine from The Move Your Way Activity Planner.
- Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans - 2nd Edition, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
- Move Your Way®, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
- Physical Activity, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention