Are you & your children getting enough exercise? You may be surprised what the WHO guidelines are

The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends for all adults over 18 who are able to, should perform:

  •  150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week, or a combination of. 
  • Muscle-strengthening (resistance training) involving major muscle groups on 2 or more days a week. 

For additional benefit, the WHO recommends that people should consider increasing the level of moderate exercise to 300 minutes and/or vigorous exercise to 150 minutes per week.

Bouts of aerobic exercise should be in at least 10 minute blocks.

The benefits of resistance training cannot be underestimated either, with a recent study stating that performing 3 sessions of aerobic exercise and 2 sessions of resistance training per week provides more cardiovascular benefit that performing 5 sessions of aerobic exercise per week*.

The above holds for both adults 18-64 and for those aged 65 and over, with the benefits to those aged over 65 including:

  • lower rates of all-cause mortality, coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, colon and breast cancer,and depression;
  • are likely to have less risk of a hip or vertebral fracture;
  • exhibit a higher level of cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness; and
  • are more likely to achieve weight maintenance, have a healthier body mass and composition.

Adults who currently do not meet the recommendations for physical activity should aim to increase duration, frequency and finally intensity as a target to achieving them. The assistance of a qualified health professional such as a physiotherapist can be vital for this group of people in achieving good outcomes.

The American College of Sports Medicine go further to recommend neuromotor exercises two or three days a week, & suggests participating in activities like yoga and Pilates. Functional resistance movements involving a significant degree of balance and multiple muscle groups might also help fulfill the recommendations for neuromotor exercise. Our very own GLA:D exercise classes fit the bill for combining strength, balance and neuromotor exercises for people with knee and hip Osteoarthritis.

Children 5-17 years should participate in 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity daily physical activity. 

Amounts of physical activity greater than 60 minutes provide additional health benefits. Most of the daily physical activity should be aerobic. Vigorous-intensity activities should be incorporated, including those that strengthen muscle and bone such as running, jumping or weightbearing sports, at least 3 times per week.

Appropriate practice of physical activity assists young people to: 

  • develop healthy musculoskeletal tissues (i.e. bones, muscles and joints);
  • develop a healthy cardiovascular system (i.e. heart and lungs);
  • develop neuromuscular awareness (i.e. coordination and movement control);
  • maintain a healthy body weight.

Read more:

Children Physical Activity: https://www.who.int/ncds/prevention/physical-activity/factsheet_young_people/en/

Adults 18-64 Guidelines for Exercise: https://www.who.int/dietphysicalactivity/factsheet_adults/en/

Adults >64 Guidelines for Exercise: https://www.who.int/dietphysicalactivity/physical-activity-recommendations-18-64years.pdf

*https://journals.lww.com/acsm-healthfitness/Fulltext/2009/07000/ACSM_STRENGTH_TRAINING_GUIDELINES__Role_in_Body.7.aspx

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