New adult exercise
guidelines include weight training
as part of weekly regimen
for healthy adults under age 65
intense cardio 30 minutes a day, five days a week
Do vigorously intense cardio 20 minutes a day, 3 days a week
Do eight to 10 strength-training exercises, eight to 12 repetitions of each
exercise twice a week.
Moderate-intensity physical activity means working hard enough to raise your
heart rate and break a sweat, yet still being able to carry on a conversation.
It should be noted that to lose weight or maintain weight loss, 60 to 90 minutes
of physical activity may be necessary. The 30-minute recommendation is for the
average healthy adult to maintain health and reduce the risk for chronic
for adults over age 65
(or adults 50-64 with chronic conditions, such as arthritis)
moderately intense aerobic exercise 30 minutes a day, five days a week
Do vigorously intense aerobic exercise 20 minutes a day, 3 days a week
Do eight to 10 strength-training exercises, 10-15 repetitions of each exercise
twice to three times per week
If you are at risk of falling, perform balance exercises
Have a physical activity plan.
aerobic and muscle-strengthening activity is critical for healthy aging.
Moderate-intensity aerobic exercise means working hard at about a level-six
intensity on a scale of 10. You should still be able to carry on a conversation
or adults with chronic conditions should develop an activity plan with a health
professional to manage risks and take therapeutic needs into account. This will
maximize the benefits of physical activity and ensure your safety.
moderately intense exercise for at least 30 minutes five days a week or
vigorous exercise at least 20 minutes three days each week, according to
updated physical fitness guidelines from two leading health groups.
Moreover, the American Heart Association and the American College of
Sports Medicine recommend weightlifting as part of a weekly regimen to
control health problems created by sedentary lifestyles and a national
epidemic of obesity.
"I think physical inactivity is the biggest public health problem we
face. I think it actually accounts for more morbidity and mortality than
anything except maybe cigarette smoking," said Dr. Steven Blair, a
professor in the Department of Exercise Science at USC’s Arnold School
of Public Health.
Blair and EXSC colleague Dr. Russ Pate were among the panel of experts
who crafted the new recommendations released this week.
The new guidelines recommend adults ages 18 to 65 do moderate-intensity
aerobic activity for at least 30 minutes five days each week. That could
include taking a brisk walk, bicycling at a moderate speed, light
jogging or other exercise that noticeably accelerates the heart rate.
These activities should be done in at least 10-minute bouts. Short
spurts of low-intensity movement — shopping, taking out the trash or
walking a few minutes in the office or parking lot — don't count.
However, moderate- or vigorous-intensity activities performed as a part
of daily life -- brisk walking to work, carpentry or gardening with a
shovel -- performed in bouts
of 10 minutes or more can be counted towards the recommendation.
An alternative option to structured daily exercise is to do a more
vigorous aerobic activity such as jogging, which causes rapid breathing
and a substantial increase in heart rate, for at least 20 minutes, three
days a week.
The updated recommendations suggest that adults do eight to 12
repetitions of eight to 10 different exercises on the major muscle
groups, including the chest, back, shoulders, upper legs, lower legs and
This could be strength training with free weights or machines, or
weight-bearing calisthenics such as push-ups. This should be done on two
Adults 65 and older are encouraged to do similar amounts of physical
activity, based on their fitness abilities.
They are advised to strength-train two to three times a week, doing a
few more repetitions using lighter weights. This helps maintain and
increase strength. Flexibility exercises are suggested to preserve the
range of motion necessary for daily activities. People at risk of
falling should do balance exercises.
“What we have learned is that resistance exercise provides important
health benefits that go beyond strength gain,” Pate said. “We now know
that (it) is important to bone health and provides many of the same
benefits that endurance exercise gives.”
The guidelines are an update and clarification of the 1995
recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and
ACSM on the types and amounts of physical activity needed by healthy
adults to improve and maintain health.
The intent is to provide more comprehensive and explicit public health
recommendations for adults based upon available evidence of the health
benefits of physical activity.
Research shows that regular physical activity reduces the risk of heart
disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, some types of cancer,
anxiety, depression and a host of other health problems.
"The message is do as much as you can do to prevent yourself from
falling into a disabled state," says W. Jack Rejeski, a professor of
health and exercise science at Wake Forest University.
For more information or additional details on the physical activity
guidelines, please visit:
American College of