Inactive adults or those who don’t yet do 150 minutes of physical activity a week
should work gradually toward this goal. To reduce the risk of injury, it is important
to increase the amount of physical activity gradually over a period of weeks to
months. The initial amount of activity should be at a light or moderate intensity for
short periods of time, with the sessions spread throughout the week. For example,
an inactive person could start with a walking program consisting of five minutes of
slow walking several times each day, five to six days a week. The length of time
could then gradually be increased to 10 minutes per session, three times a day, and
the walking speed could be increased slowly.
Muscle-strengthening activities should also be gradually increased over time. Initially,
these activities can be done just one day a week, starting at a light or moderate
level of effort. Over time, the number of days a week can be increased to two, and
better yet, more than two. Each week, the level of effort (intensity) can be increased
slightly until it becomes moderate to high.
To reduce the risk of injuries and other adverse events, people should:
• Protect themselves by using appropriate gear and sports equipment, looking for
safe environments, following rules and policies of venues and sports, and making
sensible choices about when, where, and how to be active.
• Be under the care of a health care provider if they have chronic health conditions
Active adults often need to increase their aerobic activity to exceed the minimum
level, move toward 300 minutes a week, and also do muscle-strengthening activities
on at least two days each week. Substituting vigorous-intensity aerobic activity for
some moderate-intensity activity both helps achieve greater fitness and saves time.
Using the 2-to-1 rule of thumb, doing 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity
a week provides about the same (and possibly more) benefits as 300 minutes
of moderate-intensity activity. Undertaking a variety of activities probably reduces
the risk of overuse injury.
Highly active adults should maintain their activity level and are also encouraged to
do a variety of activities to ensure all major muscle groups are strengthened.
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.