Choose Health: Be Active: A physical activity guide for older Australians

Physical Activity Recommendations for Older Australians

Page last updated: March 2009

"No matter what your age, weight, health problems or abilities, you should try and do some form of physical activity."

How much activity?

  • Older people should accumulate at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity on most, preferably all, days.
  • 30 minutes is needed to keep your heart, lungs, muscles and bones in good working order.
  • If you can’t do 30 minutes now, start with 10 minutes once or twice a day. After two weeks, make it 15 minutes twice a day and you will have reached your goal of 30 minutes a day.
  • If you can do more than 30 minutes each day there will be additional benefits.
"You can’t turn back the clock but you can wind it up."

What type of exercise?

  • Try to be active every day in as many ways as possible, doing a range of activities that incorporate fitness, strength, flexibility and balance (see pages 8–9 for ideas).
  • The recommendations advise moderate intensity activity. This means you don’t have to puff and pant or work up a sweat – but if you do – it’s OK.
  • Brisk walking is a great moderate intensity activity. If you don’t like walking, try working in the garden or going for a swim.
  • If you have enjoyed a lifetime of vigorous physical activity, carry on doing so in a manner suited to your capability.