Get with the Guidelines
Basic recommendations from American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association.
Exercise Guidelines for healthy adults under age 65
Do moderately intense cardio 30 minutes a day, five days a week
Do vigorously intense cardio 20 minutes a day, 3 days a week
Do eight to 10 strength-training exercises, eight to 12 repetitions of each exercise twice a week.
Moderate-intensity physical activity means working hard enough to raise your heart rate and break a sweat, yet still being able to carry on a conversation. It should be noted that to lose weight or maintain weight loss, 60 to 90 minutes of physical activity may be necessary. The 30-minute recommendation is for the average healthy adult to maintain health and reduce the risk for chronic disease.
Exercise Guidelines for adults over age 65
(or adults 50-64 with chronic conditions, such as arthritis)
Do moderately intense aerobic exercise 30 minutes a day, five days a week
Do vigorously intense aerobic exercise 20 minutes a day, 3 days a week
Do eight to 10 strength-training exercises, 10-15 repetitions of each exercise twice to three times per week
If you are at risk of falling, perform balance exercises
Have a physical activity plan.
Both aerobic and muscle-strengthening activity is critical for healthy aging. Moderate-intensity aerobic exercise means working hard at about a level-six intensity on a scale of 10. You should still be able to carry on a conversation during exercise.
Older adults or adults with chronic conditions should develop an activity plan with a health professional to manage risks and take therapeutic needs into account. This will maximize the benefits of physical activity and ensure your safety.