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Cambridge City Council

Recommended physical activity for older adults

If you’re 65 or older and are generally fit and have no health conditions that limit your mobility, you should try to be active daily.

You should aim to:

  • do at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity per week, or a mixture of the two
  • do strength activities twice per week, making sure to involve all the major muscle groups
  • reduce sedentary behaviours that involve sitting for long periods of time as much as possible

Moderate activity might include cycling, walking, housework, light gardening, or golf. As a general rule, it will make your heart rate and breathing rate rise, and your body feel hotter. You might also feel a little sweaty.

Vigorous activity might include running, singles tennis, rowing or gym-based activity. It usually can’t be maintained for long periods of time without resting and will make holding a conversation much more difficult.

Strength activity involves using your body weight or weights as resistance to exert your muscles. Keep fit, pilates, yoga and gymnastics classes will all well help with this, along with carrying shopping, climbing stairs, DIY, and gardening.

If you’re at risk of falling, you should also practice balance and coordination exercises at least twice per week. The county council’s stay stronger for longer webpage gives some examples, or you could consider joining a local strength and balance class.