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Am I Doing Enough Exercise?

Am I Doing Enough Exercise?


We all know exercise is good for you. Do we actually know how much exercise we are meant to be doing? With an ever growing society of convenience and sedentary lifestyles, getting in enough physical activity is a struggle for most people. I see it all too often here in the clinic where patients don’t have the basic knowledge of physical activity. They also don’t know how to change their current activity levels. This blog aims to shine a light on the guidelines in which we should aim to adhere to with regards physical activity in the aim to prevent non-communicable diseases (NCDs). NCDs refers to chronic diseases that are not caused by infectious agents. These are long term diseases that progress slowly. Diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and respiratory disease to name but a few.

World Health Organisation (WHO) have developed guidelines “Global Recommendation of Physical Activity for Health” to provide national guidance on the frequency, duration, type and total amount of physical activity needed to prevent NCDs. The guidelines are divided into three age groups: 5-17 years, 18-64 years and 65 and over.

For this blog I will focus on the latter two age groups, however, if you wish to review the guidelines for 5-17 year olds please click on this link.

18-64 year olds

  • Should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity per week. Alternatively 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise per week, or a combination between both.
  • For additional health benefits adults should increase moderate-intensity exercise to 300 minutes per week. This can be substituted with 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise per week.
  • Aerobic physical activity should be performed in bouts of at least 10 minutes duration.
  • Muscle strengthening activities should be done involving major muscle groups on 2 or more days a week.

65 years and over

All the points from above are recommended for adults 65 and over in additional to the following:

  • Older adults with poor mobility should perform physical activity to enhance balance and prevent falls. Physical activity should be done 3 or more days per week.
  • Older adults who cannot do the recommended amount of physical activity due to health conditions should try and be as physically active as their abilities and conditions allow.

Here are some tips to add additional exercise into your day:

  • Take the stairs instead of the lift or escalator.
  • Get on/off public transport a stop or two earlier.
  • Go for a walk on your lunch hour, or even better start a walking group with work colleagues.
  • Join a physical activity group- walking, hiking, tag-rugby, dancing or cycling. Exercise can be a great way to meet new people.
  • Cycle, walk or run to work!

If you want to become more physically active and need some guidance, our physiotherapists are highly trained in getting individuals more active. Moreover, if you have a joint or muscle problem that is hampering you from becoming more physically active, contact us today and we will endeavour to help you achieve your goals. Here at Ballsbridge Physiotherapy Clinic we also have a variety of Pilates and exercise classes that may help you achieve your 150 minutes of exercise per week.

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