Physical Activity in Older Adults (65+)

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For older adults, regular physical activity routine can:

  • Help you live healthier longer
  • Help you to maintain your independence 
  • Prevent disease and can help maintain a healthy body weight
  • Ease symptoms or slow the progression of chronic conditions
  • Prevent falls by helping to build muscle strength, flexibility, coordination, and balance 
  • Help you recover faster after surgery or a fall
  • Decrease stress, relieve tension, and improve memory and alertness

How much physical activity?

Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines for Adults state that "Adults aged 65 years and older should accumulate at least 150 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity per week, in bouts of 10 minutes of more. It is also beneficial to add muscle and bone strengthening activities using major muscle groups, at least 2 days per week. Those with poor mobility should perform physical activities to enhance balance and prevent falls. More physical activity provides greater health benefits."

How much sedentary behaviour?

While formal sedentary guidelines for older adults have not been developed yet, older adults should try to limit the amount of sitting for long periods. Try to get up at least every 60 minutes and stretch or move for at least 1-3 minutes.

Links and resources