Exercise as you get older

Physical activity and exercise can help you stay healthy, energetic and independent as you get older.

Many adults aged 65 and over spend, on average, 10 hours or more each day sitting or lying down, making them the most sedentary age group.

They're paying a high price for their inactivity, with higher rates of falls, obesity, heart disease and early death compared with the general population.

As you get older, it becomes even more important to remain active if you want to stay healthy and maintain your independence.

If you do not stay active, all the things you've always enjoyed doing and taken for granted may start to become that little bit harder.

You may struggle to pursue simple pleasures, such as playing with the grandchildren, walking to the shops, leisure activities and meeting up with friends.

You might start to get aches and pains you never had before and have less energy to go out. You may also be more vulnerable to falling. 

This can all lead to being less able to look after yourself and do the things you enjoy.


Adults aged 65 or older who are generally fit and have no health conditions that limit their mobility should try to be active daily.

You should do:

at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity such as cycling or walking every week and strength exercises on 2 or more days a week that work all the major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms)

Or  

75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity such as running or a game of singles tennis every week and strength exercises on 2 or more days a week that work all the major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms)

Or

a mix of moderate and vigorous aerobic activity every week (for example, two 30-minute runs plus 30 minutes of brisk walking equates to 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity) and strength exercises on 2 or more days a week that work all the major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms)

You should also try to break up long periods of sitting with light activity, as sedentary behaviour is now considered an independent risk factor for ill health, no matter how much exercise you do.

https://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/fitness/Documents/older-adults-65-years.pdf

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