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Exercise for Adults – How Much is Beneficial?

Exercise is good for everyone. “Hooray!”, I hear you shout, “let’s get to it”.
Exercise for Adults especially with many battling an increasingly sedentary lifestyle is a hot topic.

Exercise is beneficial for your –

  • bone strength
  • muscle strength
  • endurance
  • balance
  • mental health
  • prevention of certain diseases ( eg type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and certain cancers)
  • skin and cardiovascular systems
  • and much more

Certain types of exercise are better for achieving certain goals.

Exercise for Adults - How Much is Beneficial

For the purpose of today’s article, I’m speaking about adults but there are Australian guidelines for the physical and sedentary behaviour of children too which can be found on the Dept of Health website.

We are very fortunate to live on the Gold Coast where there are plenty of parks with resistance equipment, walkways and bikeways to exercise on and our council has such a great active and healthy living program which supports group activities and exercise for minimal cost.  Here’s a list! Remember, any activity is better than none.

How Can We Help?

If you have barriers (eg joint pain, joint stiffness, foot pain, urinary incontinence) that are currently preventing you from exercise, please come talk to one of our experienced physiotherapists today for an assessment to find the best way to get you active again. Once we’ve discussed your goals and checked your current physical state- joint range, strength and balance, we will give you treatment to get you up to speed and a home program so you can keep helping yourself every day. We also offer hydrotherapy, clinical pilates or gym programs individually tailored to your needs to keep you firing on all cylinders.

Take that first step towards more activity today- your body will love you for it.


  • The definition in these guidelines for moderate intensity exercise is that it requires effort but conversation is still possible.
  • Vigorous intensity exercise makes you breathe harder-huff and puff- depending on your fitness level.  
  • CVD is cardiovascular disease.

Source – Australian Government’s Department of Health website.

Australia’s Physical Activity & Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines for Adults (18-64 years)

Being physically active and limiting your sedentary behaviour every day is essential for health and wellbeing. These guidelines are for all adults aged 18 – 64 years, irrespective of cultural background, gender or ability.

Physical Activity Guidelines

  • Doing any physical activity is better than doing none. If you currently do no physical activity, start by doing some, and gradually build up to the recommended amount.
  • Be active on most, preferably all, days every week.
  • Accumulate 150 to 300 minutes (2 ½ to 5 hours) of moderate intensity physical activity or 75 to 150 minutes (1 ¼ to 2 ½ hours) of vigorous intensity physical activity, or an equivalent combination of both moderate and vigorous activities, each week.
  • Do muscle strengthening activities on at least 2 days each week.
  • Resistance training is important for maintaining strength, and also for the prevention of falls, as well as to reduce risk factors for CVD and type 2 diabetes.
  • Activity at the lower end of scale (i.e. 150min of moderate /75min of vigorous) provides considerable health benefits, including reduced risk of CVD, type 2 diabetes, psychosocial and musculoskeletal problems.
  • Activity at the upper end of the scale (i.e. 300min of moderate / 150min of vigorous) is required for the prevention of unhealthy weight gain and some cancers

Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines

  • Minimise the amount of time spent in prolonged sitting.
  • Break up long periods of sitting as often as possible.
  • This is important as people may meet the physical activity guidelines, and yet sit for many hours each day, with adverse metabolic effects over time resulting in poorer health outcomes.

Physical Activity Recommendations for Older Australians (65 years and older)

Being physically active and staying fit and healthy will help you to get the most out of life, whatever your age. These recommendations are designed to help older Australians achieve sufficient physical activity for good health as they age. They are mainly for people who are not currently building 30 minutes of physical activity into their daily lives, and are looking for ways they can do so.

Being physically active for 30 minutes every day is achievable and even a slight increase in activity can make a difference to your health and wellbeing.

Physical Activity Recommendations

There are five physical activity recommendations for older Australians. These recommendations are also available in the Choose Health: Be Active – A physical activity guide for older Australians  brochure which provides further information about physical activity for older Australians.

  • 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 incorporate fitness, strength, balance and flexibility.
  • Older people should accumulate at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity on most, preferably all, days.
  • 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.

Older people fell into 4 categories with their attitudes towards physical activity when interviewed by Kenter et al(2015) and the people holding these differing attitudes obviously need different levels of support from our community and our health professionals.

  • ‘I want to be physically active, but there are too many barriers’- see your GP and health professional to help address these.
  • ‘I have reached a point in my life where I do not have to be so active any more’- this is never true sorry!
  • ‘I need to exercise now if I want to live the life I want’ and
  • ‘I have always been active and cannot do without Physical Activity’.

Wherever you are on this rating scale – remember any activity is better than none. Good luck with your physical activity and let us know if we can help!
Ceridwen Way B.Phty

Gold Coast Physiotherapy and Allied Health at Burleigh Heads and Broadbeach  07 5535 5218

The influence of life events on physical activity patterns of Dutch older adults: A life history method.(includes abstract) Kenter, Elise J.; Gebhardt, Winifred A.; Lottman, Irene; van Rossum, Mariët; Bekedam, Margreet; Crone, Mathilde R.; Psychology & Health, 2015 Jun; 30 (6): 627-51
Choose Health: Be Active
Source – Australian Government’s Department of Health website.


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