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Older Adults – How Much Exercise Is Enough?

The term older adult is defined as an individual who is over the age of 65. However, individuals of similar chronological age might perform differently when it comes to physical fitness. Therefore, health and functional status are often better indicators of the ability to engage in exercise than age.

Normally, individuals who appear healthy will go through basic screening prior to initiating an exercise program. On the other hand, individuals who have signs/symptoms or known cardiovascular, metabolic, or renal disease might require medical clearance before engaging in an exercise program. In the following paragraphs, we will show you some examples of a proper exercise program.

Aerobic Activity

Older adults should engage in 3-5 days per week of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity, at an intensity of 5-8 on a 10-point scale. Each exercise session should last for 20-30 minutes. Walking, aquatic exercise, or stationary bike are awesome options for aerobic activity.

Resistance Exercise

In addition to aerobic activities, engaging in 2 or more days per week of resistance training is beneficial at maintaining muscle strength. Older adults are recommended to exercise at an intensity of 5-6 on a 10-point scale. Weight training that mimics activities of daily living and targets major muscle groups are highly recommended.

Lastly, for older adults with previous history or risk factors of falls, balance, agility, proprioceptive, reaction time, and power training are also great components to incorporate to the exercise program.

There are other components within an exercise program, such as warm up, cool down, rest period, and stretching, that we did not get to cover in this article. If you want to enrol in our exercise training program with our exercise therapists and maximize your movement performance, contact our clinic at (905) 771-8882.

This article is only served as a guidance to a simple exercise program. It is best for older adults to consult an exercise professional before starting an exercise program. We hope that this article is helpful!

Social media: @cesphysiorehab

Phone: 905-771-8882


American College of Sports Medicine. (2018). ACSM's guidelines for exercise testing and prescription (10th ed.). Wolters Kluwer.

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