Vitality in Your Golden Years: A Guide on Exercise Recommendations for Adults 65+

Greetings to our health-conscious community! Today, we bring you vital exercise recommendations for our seasoned adults aged 65 and over. If you’re in this age group or have loved ones who are, this information, based on the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology’s (CSEP) 24-Hour Movement Guidelines, will be incredibly beneficial. 

Understanding Exercise Guidelines

The CSEP’s guidelines offer a holistic approach to fitness and well-being for older adults. These guidelines don’t exclusively focus on physical activity but also address the impacts of sedentary behaviour and sleep on your overall health. These guidelines are tailored to adults aged 65+, irrespective of gender, cultural background, or socioeconomic status. However, if you are living with a disability or medical condition, it is prudent to consult a health professional for more personalized guidance.

Balanced Activities for Improved Quality of Life

The CSEP advises participating in a diverse range of physical activities, encompassing aerobic exercise, weight-bearing, non weight-bearing, sport, and recreational activities. Engage in these in different contexts, such as leisure, transportation, occupation, and household chores, across all seasons. Engaging in activity for a cumulative total of >150 active minutes per week is strongly associated with health benefits.

Remember to balance physical activity with healthy sleep habits and limit sedentary behaviour. Excessive time spent inactive, such as sitting on the couch, at the computer, or in a vehicle, can be harmful. For a good night’s sleep, aim to follow routines, behaviours, and cultivate an environment that allows you to get 7-8 hours of sleep each night.

Health Benefits of Following the Guidelines

Abiding by these guidelines can lead to numerous health benefits, including reduced risk of mortality, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, type-2 diabetes, various cancers, anxiety, depression, dementia, weight gain, adverse blood fat profile, falls, and fall-related injuries. Moreover, it helps improve bone health, brain cognition, quality of life, and overall physical function.

The Guidelines in a Nutshell

A Healthy 24-Hours includes:

1. Physical Activity: Vary the types and intensities of your physical activity. This includes:

– Moderate to vigorous aerobic physical activities totalling >150 minutes per week.

– Muscle strengthening activities involving major muscle groups at least twice per week.

– Physical activities that challenge your balance.

– Several hours of light physical activities, including standing.

2. Sleep: Aim for 7-8 hours of good quality sleep consistently with regular bed and wake-up times.

3. Sedentary Behavior: Limit sedentary time to 8 hours or less. This includes:

– No more than 3 hours of recreational screen time.

– Breaking up long periods of sitting as often as possible.

Simple Tips to Stay Active

– Engage in activities you enjoy, such as swimming or cycling.

– Increase your activity level 10 minutes at a time.

– Make active time a social event by looking for group activities in your community or getting your friends and family involved.

– Opt for stairs instead of elevators and walk whenever possible.

– Carry your groceries home, if possible.

– Start slowly and listen to your body.

Remember, every step counts – if you’re not active now, any increase in activity can bring health benefits.

Distinguishing between Activity Types

Moderate Aerobic Activity: These activities make you breathe harder and your heart beat faster than at rest. Examples include brisk walking or bike riding.

Vigorous Aerobic Activity: These activities significantly raise your heart rate, you may only be able to say a few words between breaths. Examples are jogging or cross-country skiing.

Strengthening Activities: These activities build up your muscles and strengthen your bones. Examples include climbing stairs, garden work, lifting weights, bodyweight exercises, yoga, running, and tennis.

Balance Activities: These exercises help maintain balance while walking in different environments. Examples include Tai Chi and yoga.

Navigating these exercise guidelines might feel overwhelming, but you don’t have to do it alone. At Connect Physiotherapy & Exercise, our experts are ready to help you create and maintain a healthy routine. We offer guidance on balancing physical activity, reducing sedentary behavior, and promoting good sleep habits. With our support, you can confidently embrace an active lifestyle tailored to your needs. Start your fitness journey with us today and make your golden years truly shine. Your health is our mission. Please remember, before beginning any new exercise routine, it’s important to consult with your doctor or a health professional. They can provide personalized advice based on your health history and current condition. Stay safe and make your health a priority.

The golden years can indeed be the most vibrant phase of your life. Get moving, stay healthy, and continue to enjoy every precious moment that life offers!

Ruben San Martin Headshot
Ruben San Martin

Ruben, MScPT, CSCS, NCCP Level 1 Olympic Weightlifting, is a physiotherapist uniquely blending research expertise in applied anatomy with a certified strength and conditioning coach background. Specialized in manual therapy, back disorders, exercise, and osteoarthritis, he is also a certified Olympic weightlifting coach. Prioritizing exercise therapy and hands-on manual techniques, Ruben emphasizes client education for active engagement and informed recovery. His writing aims to help clients return to an active lifestyle, optimize performance, and prevent injuries.