Do you lead an active lifestyle? Are you confused by the conflicting fitness guidance available? Or are you thinking about getting active but don’t know how to get started?
In 2011, the Department of Health developed guidelines to help provide structure for what the recommended amount of exercise was for children, adults and older adults. This factsheet will highlight the UK physical activity guidelines for adults between 19-64 years.
- The aim for all adults is to be active on a daily basis
- Over a week, adults should perform at least 150 minutes (2 ½ hours) of activity at a moderate intensity
Over a week, adults should perform at least 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity
- On at least two days a week resistance based activity should be performed to improve strength.
- The time spent being sedentary such as sitting should be reduced
Moderate intensity means participating in an activity which raises your heart rate, makes you warmer and causes you to breathe harder. For example brisk walking, gentle swimming and cycling.
Vigorous intensity means participating in activities which makes holding a conversation difficult because the heart rate is beating rapidly and breathing rate is much higher. The activity will make you warmer too. Examples include running, sports and swimming.
Resistance training involves using the large main muscles in the body to move against a resistance. You can use your body weight (e.g. squats, lunges and press-ups) or exercise with weights.
The key message to take away is to minimise the time spent sitting still and get moving even for 10 minutes at a time during the day.
For more information on the UK physical activity guidelines and how to get yourself active, visit www.nhs.uk/livewell/fitness/pages/physical-activity-guidelines-for-adults.aspx or www.nhs.uk/change4life