Retirees who take part in regular physical activity are privy to countless health benefits, including lower body weight, greater strength and endurance, increased flexibility and balance, and better mental health. In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to find any research suggesting the older you get, the less active you should be. Engaging in physical activity carries very low health and safety risks for older adults. In contrast, the risk of poor health as a result of inactivity is very high.
There are also many social benefits to be had for this specific age range.
Guidelines for older adults
- Older adults who participate in any amount of physical activity gain some health benefits, including maintenance of good physical activity and cognitive function. Some physical activity is better than none and more physical activity provides greater health benefits.
- Older adults should aim to be active daily. Over a week, activity should add up to at least 150 minutes (2 ½ hours) of moderate intensity activity in bouts of 10 minutes or more – one way to approach this is to do 30 minutes, 5 days per week.
- Older adults should also undertake physical activity to improve muscle strength on at least two days per week.
- Older adults at risk of falls should incorporate physical activity to improve balance and co-ordination on at least two days per week.
- All older adults should minimise the amount of time spent sedentary for extended periods.