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Get Started – Adults

Are you thinking about being more active, and want to find out more about the benefits of moving more and sitting less, and how to get started?

Exercise is the miracle cure that’s always been available, but we don’t always take our recommended dose! This can lead to poor physical and mental health, general wellbeing and even lead to increased risk of long-term health conditions and diseases.

 

So how much activity should adults take part in?

  • Adults aged 19-64 years should aim to be active daily.
  • Over a week, activity should add up to at least 150 minutes (2½ hours) of moderate intensity activity in bouts of 10 minutes or more (e.g. 30 minutes on at least 5 days a week).
  • Physical activity to improve muscle strength should be done on at least two days a week.
  • Adults should also minimise the amount of time spent being sedentary (sitting) for extended periods.
  • For those that are already active and can do more vigorous levels of activity, similar benefits can be achieved by doing 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity spread across the week, or combinations of moderate and vigorous intensity activity.

Put simply the average adult needs to do at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day, on five or more days. The important thing to remember is that you don’t need to spend hours at the gym or run marathons to be healthy. You can do three 10 minute or two 15 minute bouts to reach your minimum of 30 minutes and this can be as effective as lengthier sessions.

What is moderate intensity exercise?

The easiest way to sustain an exercise habit is to incorporate it into your daily routine.

Moderate intensity aerobic exercise is where you’re working hard enough to raise your heart rate and break into a sweat. You are also able to talk but would be unable to sing the words to a song.

Examples include: fast walking, swimming, water aerobics, cycling, jogging, gentle dance and group exercise classes.

 

Vigorous intensity aerobic exercise is where you’re breathing hard and fast and your heart rate has increased significantly. At this level, you will not be able to say more than a few words without pausing for a breath.

Build more activity into your day!

  • Try cycling or walking to work instead of taking the bus or driving.
  • Use stairs instead of the lift or escalators.
  • Spend more time gardening.
  • Go out for walks around your local park.

Sometimes it’s hard to motivate yourself to be more physically active and it can feel like a chore. Start by changing the way you think about regular exercise. Remind yourself that it will make you feel better, and will probably improve the quality and length of your life. Most importantly, it can be fun!