Moving regularly is important for people of all ages and has a big impact on our health. Being active has many benefits. It reduces the risk of chronic disease, improves sleep, can improve cognitive function, keeps bones strong, and more! Here are some ways we can be active can any age.
Being active is important at a young age to strengthen bones and help kids grow. Children ages 3 to 5 years should be encouraged to move and play at least 3 hours a day. Active play for this age can include light, moderate, or vigorous-intensity activities such as tumbling, skipping, ball throwing, and tricycle riding.
Children and Adolescents
The goal for children and adolescents ages 6 to 17 years is 60 minutes a day of moderate to vigorous-intensity movement. Activity should include aerobic, and muscle- and bone-strengthening activities. Activity at this age is important for bone-strengthening because bones grow the most at this age. Aerobic activities increase your heart and breathing rate such as dancing, swimming, jumping rope, and bicycling. Muscle-strengthening activities can include climbing on playgrounds, gymnastics, and tug-of-war. Bone-strengthening activities include many sports like basketball, tennis, and volleyball.
The goal for adults is to reach between 150 and 300 minutes (2.5-5 hours) of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity per week. It is recommended that weekly activity is spread between 3 or more days to avoid injury. These activities can include brisk walking, dancing, yoga, bicycling, swimming, hiking, and yard work. Muscle-strengthening and flexibility activities are also recommended for adults.
For adults ages 65 years or older, 150 to 300 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity per week is the goal. Activity intensity is relative to each individual’s level of fitness. Each person should determine their level of effort for physical activity relative to their level of fitness. Muscle-strengthening activities are also important to maintain muscle with age. It is recommended that older adults do muscle-strengthening activities at least 2 days a week such as carrying groceries, gardening, and yoga.
For more information, check the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans at: