Some activity is better than none at all and more is better than a little. Even if you have done no activity in the past, starting to do some form of activity can set you on the road to a healthy life style and improved personal health.
Australian guidelines for physical activity include recommendations for children, youth adults and older adults (Aboriginal people aged over 55 years and non-Aboriginal people aged over 65 years). For more information find thirty everyday.
Guidelines for Children (those under the age of 18)
- Children need at least 60 minutes (and up to several hours) of moderate* to vigorous** physical activity every day
- Children should not spend more than two hours a day using electronic media for entertainment (e.g. computer games, TV, internet), particularly during daylight hours
Guidelines for Adults
- Think of movement as an opportunity, not an inconvenience
- Try to participate in at least 30 minutes of moderate* intensity physical activity everyday.
- If you can, also enjoy some regular, vigorous** activity for extra health and fitness
Guidelines for Older Adults
- Older people should do some form of physical activity, no matter what their age, weight, health problems or abilities*
- Older people should be active every day in as many ways as possible, doing a range of physical activities that incorporates fitness, strength, balance and flexibility
- Older people should accumulate at least 30 minutes of moderate* intensity physical activity on most, preferably everyday Older people who have stopped physical activity, or who are starting a new physical activity, should start at a level that is easily manageable and gradually build up the recommended amount, type and frequency of activity.
- Older people who continue to enjoy a lifetime of vigorous** physical activity should carry on doing so in a manner suited to their capability into later life, provided recommended safety procedures and guidelines are adhered to
Always seek medical advice from your GP if you have an underlying medical condition before embarking on physical exercise programs.
- *moderate intensity activity = will cause a slight, but noticeable, increase in breathing and heart rate. A good example of moderate-intensity activity is brisk walking at a pace where you are able to comfortably talk but not sing.
- **vigorous intensity activity = makes you “huff and puff”, and where talking in full sentences between breaths is difficult. Vigorous exercise can come from active sports such as football, squash, netball and basketball, and activities such as aerobics, circuit training, speed walking, jogging, fast cycling or brisk rowing.