How much physical activity do adults aged 19-64 years old need to do to stay healthy?
To stay healthy or to improve health, adults need to do two types of physical activity each week: aerobic and strength exercises.
To stay healthy, adults aged 19-64 should try to be active daily and aim to do:
- At least 150 minutes of moderate activity OR 75 minutes of vigorous activity a week.
- Strength exercises on two or more days that work all major muscle.
- Minimise sedentary behaviour including extended periods of sitting.
What counts as 'Moderate' activity?
Moderate activity will raise your heart rate and make you breathe faster and feel warmer. One way to tell if you're working at a moderate level is if you can still talk, but you can't sing the words to a song. Examples of moderate activity for most people include: Walking fast, hiking, pushing a lawnmower, riding a bike on level ground, volleyball & basketball.
What counts as 'Vigorous' activity?
Activity that makes you breathe hard and fast. If you're working at this level, you won't be able to say more than a few words without pausing for breath. Examples of vigorous activity for most people include: Football, skipping, singles tennis, riding a bike fast or on hills, swimming fast, jogging and running.
Muscle strengthening activities & exercises
Muscle-strengthening exercises are counted in repetitions and sets. A repetition is one complete movement of an activity, like a bicep curl or a sit-up. A set is a group of repetitions.
For each strength exercise, try to do:
- At least one set
- 8 to 12 repetitions in each set
To get health benefits from strength exercises, you should do them to the point where you struggle to complete another repetition.
There are many ways you can strengthen your muscles, whether it's at home or in the gym. Examples of muscle-strengthening activities for most people include:
- Lifting weights
- Working with resistance bands
- Doing exercises that use your own body weight, such as push-ups and sit-ups
- Heavy gardening, such as digging and shovelling
For further information on physical activity guidelines please use the weblink below.