How hard should you work?

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Aim to do at least 30 minutes of physical activity most days of the week. This can be a single 30 minute session, or several shorter episodes of activity (eg 3 x 10 minute sessions).


Each week, you should also include several types of exercises:

Fitness (cardiovascular) exercise

  • You should feel a little out of breath, but still be able
    to talk. If you are too out of breath to talk you are working too hard. 

Strength exercise

  • If you haven't done an exercise before, start out with either no weight or a light weight that you can use comfortably. Focus on doing the exercise correctly before increasing the weight.

Older woman stretching
  • It's helpful to look at yourself in the mirror, or to film yourself with a camera on your phone/computer/tablet (eg iPad) to be sure you are doing the exercise correctly.

  • You should be able to do each exercise 8-12 times (called the number of repetitions), then rest, and repeat each set another 1-2 times. If you are doing 12 repetitions easily, it may be time to increase the weight.

Balance exercise

  • Stay safe! Make sure you have a bench/table/wall close by for support.

  • These exercises work your balance, so you should feel a little unsteady, but still in control. 

  • If you feel you might overbalance, the exercise is too challenging. If so, try an easier version. For example, you can make standing balance exercises easier by increasing the distance between your feet.

In this video, Prof Anne Tiedemann presented about how active older people should be at the Institute for Musculoskeletal Health's Staying active during and after lockdown webinar. You can view all videos from the webinar here.