Physical Activity for Adults

Physical Activity for Adults

Last week we talked about the small number of children meeting current recommendations of 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity. The statistics for adults are not much better. Only 1 out of every 3 people in Ireland is physically active on a regular basis. Irish people spend on average 5.3 hours sitting each workday. A number of studies have found that people who sit for long periods of time have an increased risk of certain diseases, including diabetes and are more likely to suffer from cardiovascular diseases.

Why would you want to be regularly active?

  • Reduces your risk of developing 35 chronic diseases.Adults stretching
  • Can add years to your life
  • Improves quality of your life
  • Helps you maintain a healthy weight
  • Helps you manages stress better
  • Improves your quality of sleep
  • Plus it makes you feel great!


So, what are current recommendations?

At least 30 minutes a day of moderate activity on 5 days a week (or 150 minutes a week). Moderate activity is any activity that causes increased breathing and heart rate, but you still able to carry on a conversation. You may be warm or sweating slightly, but working at a comfortable pace.

Remember that short bouts count; you can reach your 30 minutes by doing shorter bouts of 10 minutes at a time spaced throughout the day. If you are currently inactive, this is a good way of starting to incorporate some physical activity into your day. Spread your activities throughout the week. Also remember that doing some physical activity is better than none.

These guidelines describe the amount of activity required to achieve substantial health benefits. However, research has shown that if you go above and beyond these guidelines, it will provide you with additional health gains. For those of us who are currently inactive, doing some physical activity, even if it is less than these guidelines, will provide some health benefits.

You should look to incorporate some resistance training activity for muscular strength 2 to 3 days two people cyclingper week. Exercises using free weights and bands are good options for strength training. Pilates is an excellent option for improving core strength, stability, posture and optimising movement patterns.  Aim to include all the major muscle groups. Daily activity such as carrying shopping bags, lifting and carrying while gardening, taking the stairs instead of the lift etc. are also good examples of strengthening activities.

However, ff you have a diagnosed chronic condition such as diabetes, heart disease, or osteoarthritis or if you have symptoms such as chest pain or pressure, dizziness or joint pain, do talk to your doctor before you increase your activity levels. Next week we will talk more about exercise and the older adult.

This week, no matter what your age, sit less, get up and get active!

More Information

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Liam Leech, BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science, MSc. ANutr.

Liam Leech

BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science, MSc. ANutr.

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