Adult Fitness - A Guide

Adult Fitness - A Guide

Exercise is a really big part of staying healthy so it’s really important to be as active as you can, and build it into your daily life.

According to government guidelines, adults aged 19 - 64 should do two types of activity throughout the week. These are:

  • Moderate Aerobic Activity, such as cycling, brisk walking - at least 150 minutes per week
  • Strength Exercises which work the major muscles such as legs, arms, back, chest, abdomen, shoulders and hips - at least 2 days a week

OR

  • Vigorous Aerobic Activity, such as running, singles tennis - 75 minutes per week
  • Strength Exercises which work the major muscles such as legs, arms, back, chest, abdomen, shoulders and hips - at least 2 days a week

OR

  • A mixture of Moderate and Vigorous Aerobic Activity each week. 
  • Strength Exercises which work the major muscles such as legs, arms, back, chest, abdomen, shoulders and hips - at least 2 days a week

This might seem like a lot, but you don’t have to do it all at once! One way to do it is to do 30 minutes of aerobic activity 5 days a week and do strength exercises on the others. You can also break it into 10 minute chunks throughout the day which means you can do 10 minutes in the morning, 10 at lunch and 10 in the evening!

Examples of Moderate Aerobic Activity:

  • Brisk walking
  • Cycling on level ground
  • Water aerobics
  • Hiking
  • Basketball
  • Mowing the lawn

You could even have a go at these NHS aerobic workout videos.

What Moderate Activity should feel like: your heartbeat will increase, you’ll breathe faster and feel warmer, but you’ll still be able to hold a conversation.

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Examples of Vigorous Aerobic Activity:

  • Jogging and running
  • Football
  • Aerobics
  • Riding a bike fast or on hilly ground
  • Skipping rope
  • Fast swimming
  • Martial Arts
  • Hockey

Vigorous activity, rather than Moderate Activity is generally thought to be better for our overall health, so try and introduce it into your exercise routine as you go.

What Vigorous Activity should feel like: you’ll get warmer, breath fast and not be able to say more than a few words whilst doing it.

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Examples of activities to build strength:

  • Lifting weights or carrying heavy shopping
  • Heavy gardening
  • Yoga
  • Exercises using your own body weight, like sit-ups, push-ups and squats

Strength exercises make sure we can carry out everyday activities, regulate blood pressure and blood sugar, build strong bones and keep to a good weight.

Strength exercises are done in ‘sets’ and ‘reps’. A rep is one complete movement of something, like one sit-up, and a set is a group of reps! You should aim for 8 - 12 reps in a set, and at least one set of each activity.

Remember to talk to your GP before starting any new exercise or weight loss regime. See more advice on the NHS website, including this fitness advice for wheelchair users.

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