Exercise Tips

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Who should exercise?

Everyone! Exercise can provide numerous benefits such as:

  • Lowering blood pressure

  • Reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease

  • Reducing the risk of developing diabetes

  • Controlling/reducing weight

  • Strengthening muscles and bones

  • Improving pain from arthritis, fibromyalgia, and other areas of chronic pain

  • Improving mood and mental health

  • Decreasing the risk of falls

  • If you have a heart or lung condition, or certain symptoms such as chest pain or difficulty breathing with exercise, you should discuss these with your doctor prior to beginning an exercise program. 

How often and for how long should I exercise?

  • Children (age 6-17): 60 minutes or more of physical activity per week + muscle strength training 3 days per week + bone strengthening activities 3 days per week

  • Adults (age 18-64):  150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week + muscle strength training 2 times per week OR 75 minutes of vigorous intensity exercise per week + muscle strength training 2 times per week

  • Older adults (age 65 and older): 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week + muscle strength training 2 times per week OR 75 minutes of vigorous intensity exercise per week + muscle strength training 2 times per week.

What kinds of exercise should I be doing?

  • Moderate intensity exercise: brisk walking, water aerobics, light biking, playing tennis, mowing the lawn

  • Vigorous intensity exercise: jogging, running, swimming laps, intense biking, playing basketball 

  • Muscle strength training: weight lifting, resistance bands

  • Bone strengthening: jumping rope, jumping jacks, running

For those with back pain or chronic pain, low-impact exercises such as walking, swimming and water aerobics may be best. 

Other exercise tips:

  • Start slowly and work your way up in intensity and length of exercise time. 

  • Stay well hydrated and make sure you are following a healthy diet. 

  • Wear good, supportive footwear. 

  • Wear appropriate protective equipment, such as a helmet for biking, knee and elbow pads for rollerblading, etc.  

  • If you are outside, don’t forget to wear sunscreen.

Christine Weeks