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Guidelines for Physical Activities

General Guidelines for Adults

The publication "2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans" from U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services states the following key guidelines for physical activity for adults:
·         All adults should avoid inactivity. Some physical activity is better than none, and adults who participate in any amount of physical activity gain some health benefits.
·         For substantial health benefits, adults should do at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) a week of moderate-intensity, or 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes) a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity, or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity. Aerobic activity should be performed in episodes of at least 10 minutes, and preferably, it should be spread throughout the week.

Guidelines for Older Adults

The guidelines for older adults are the same as the above guidelines. Additionally, there are following guidelines 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.

Guidelines for Adults With Disabilities

Physical Activity is very important for persons with disabilities too. Following are the guidelines for adults with disabilities:
·         Adults with disabilities, who are able to, should get at least 150 minutes per week (2 hours and 30 minutes) of moderate-intensity, or 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes) per week of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity, or an equivalent combination of moderate-and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity. Aerobic activity should be performed in episodes of at least 10 minutes, and preferably, it should be spread throughout the week.
·         Adults with disabilities, who are able to, should also do muscle-strengthening activities of moderate or high intensity that involve all major muscle groups on 2 or more days per week, as these activities provide additional health benefits.
·         When adults with disabilities are not able to meet the above Guidelines, they should engage in regular physical activity according to their abilities and should avoid inactivity.
·         Adults with disabilities should consult their health-care providers about the amounts and types of physical activity that are appropriate for their abilities.

Guidelines for Safe Physical Activity

To do physical activity safely and reduce risk of injuries and other adverse events, one should:
·         Understand the risks and yet be confident that physical activity is safe for almost everyone.
·         Choose to do types of physical activity that are appropriate for their current fitness level and health goals, because some activities are safer than others.
·         Increase physical activity gradually over time whenever more activity is necessary to meet guidelines or health goals. Inactive people should "start low and go slow" by gradually increasing how often and how long activities are done.
·         Protect themselves by using appropriate gear and sports equipment, looking for safe environments, following rules and policies, 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 conditions or symptoms. People with chronic conditions and symptoms should consult their health-care provider about the types and amounts of activity appropriate for them.