The key guidelines for adults also apply to older adults. In addition, the following
guidelines are just for older adults:
• When older adults cannot do 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic
activity a week because of chronic conditions, they should be as physically
active as their abilities and conditions allow.
• Older adults should do exercises that maintain or improve balance if they
are at risk of falling.
• Older adults should determine their level of effort for physical activity relative
to their level of fitness.
• Older adults with chronic conditions should understand whether and how
their conditions affect their ability to do regular physical activity safely.
If you answer “yes” to one or more of these questions, you shouldn’t start exercising
without first consulting your physician or health care provider.
• Do you smoke cigarettes?
• Are you overweight by more than 10–20 pounds?
• Are you 35 years old or older?
• Have you ever had a heart attack?
• Is there a history of heart disease in your family? Did either of your parents
have a heart attack in their fifties or sixties (or earlier)?
• Have you ever had an abnormal electrocardiogram (ECG)?
• Have you ever thought that your heart was beating too fast?
• Do you have arthritis?
• Is your range of motion limited in any of your joints?
• Do you have any chronic illnesses?
A cardiovascular and musculoskeletal exam can reveal whether you have any problems
that might limit your participation in whatever activity you choose. If you’re
afraid of getting hurt, the good news is that moderate-intensity aerobic activity, such
as brisk walking, is generally safe for most people.
Start slowly. Cardiac events, such as a heart attack, are rare during physical activity.
But the risk does go up when you suddenly become much more active than usual.
That’s one reason it’s important to start slowly and gradually increase your level of
If you have a chronic health condition such as arthritis, diabetes, or heart disease,
consult your health care provider to find out if your condition limits, in any way,
your ability to be active and make a physical activity plan that matches your abilities.
It is important to avoid being inactive because the health benefits of physical
activity far outweigh the risks of getting hurt.
This blog presents opinions and ideas and is intended to provide helpful general information. I am not engaged in rendering advice or services to the individual reader. The ideas, procedures and suggestions in that are presented are not in any way a substitute for the advice and care of the reader’s own physician or other medical professional based on the reader’s own individual conditions, symptoms or concerns. If the reader needs personal medical, health, dietary, exercise or other assistance or advice the reader should consult a physician and/or other qualified health professionals. The author specifically disclaims all responsibility for any injury, damage or loss that the reader may incur as a direct or indirect consequence of following any directions or suggestions given in this blog or participating in any programs described in this blog or in the book, The Building Blocks of Health––How to Optimize Your Health with a Lifestyle Checklist (available in print or downloaded at Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble and elsewhere). Copyright 2021 by J. Joseph Speidel.