How much exercise do you really need?

You're trying to get enough exercise and sleep.  But really, how much is enough? 

Our clients come from all walks of life - including high end athletes, middle-aged gym-goers, "weekend warriors," and yes, sedentary folks.  We get a lot of questions, such as:

  • I'm really busy - how long do my workouts have to be to see results?
  • Do I have to be 'working out', or does housework count? And if housework counts, what sort of housework? 
  • I can't exercise as much as I did when I was young.  Is it okay to exercise less than I used to?
  • How much exercise should my elderly mom be getting?
  • Do I have to do weights, cardio, or both?
  • How much sleep do I need to recover?

Every person is different, especially when recovering from injury.  But to answer questions about general exercise, one of our favourite sources is The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEP).  They are exercise experts, and they've recently published the Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines - based on the latest research. 

These guidelines cover how much sleep and physical activity you need for overall health, well-being, and quality of life.  And they're customized to age group:

One interesting take-away is that adults of all ages should be getting 150 minutes a week of aerobic activity and muscle conditioning.  But once you're in the 65+ age group, it's important to add in physical activities that challenge balance.  In our experience as physiotherapists, regular work on balance challenges can be extremely effective in preventing falls.  That means fewer fall-related injuries, and higher quality of life.

If you'd like to discuss further, or want a fitness program tailored to you and your injury/condition, our physiotherapists can help.  Or call us now to arrange a free 15-minute consultation with a physiotherapist on whether physiotherapy is right for you.