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Beginning Exercise

Weekly Exercise Goals

Experts recommend the following as a minimum level of weekly activity:

  • Do moderately intense aerobic activity for 30 minutes at least 5 days a week
  • Or, do vigorously intense aerobic activity for 20 minutes at least 3 days a week
  • Additionally, do 8-10 strength training exercises, 10-15 repetitions of each, 2-3 times a week

Those who are at risk for falling should also perform balance training exercises

  • An exercise is considered to be of “moderate intensity” if it is rated a 5 or 6 level of difficulty on a 0 (resting) to 10 (all-out effort) scale and produces a noticeable increase in heart rate and respiration rate.
  • An exercise is considered to be of “vigorous intensity” if it is rated at a 7 or 8 level of difficulty on a 0 to 10 scale and produces a significant increase in heart rate and respiration rate.
  • Flexibility is also an important component to fitness, and at least 10 minutes of flexibility activity is recommended on each day that aerobic or strength exercises are performed.

If you are able to exceed these minimum exercise goals, do so for additional health benefits. 

Starting an Exercise Program

  • If you have been out of the habit of exercising for a while, gradually build up the intensity of your workout to meet the recommendations
  • Before beginning a workout routine, have your health cleared for exercise by your physician

If you are over the age of 65, or if you have a chronic condition (i.e. arthritis), you may want to develop an activity plan with a healthcare professional that takes into account individualized risks and therapeutic needs

Top Tips for Achieving your Goals

  • Choose activities you enjoy participating in. If you don’t like to run but enjoy swimming, choose swimming to be your primary form of aerobic exercise.
  • If you’re not sure how to perform a particular exercise, ask for help. It is important to use good technique when exercising to reduce the risk of injury.
  • Research shows that 3, 10-minute bouts of moderate intensity exercise throughout the day are just as effective as 30 minutes straight.
  • Combinations of moderate and vigorous intensity exercise can be used to meet the guidelines.
  • Set aside a specific time during the day that you will use for exercise.
  • Beginning an exercise program with a family member or friend can make things fun and help with accountability. 



At Sydney Sports and Orthopaedic Physiotherapy our highly qualified physiotherapists specialise in the assessment, treatment and prevention of neuromusculoskeletal injuries.

Contact us today – 9252 5770

This handout was prepared by Sydney Sports and Orthopaedic Physiotherapy and is intended as a general information service. Please note that the information provided is not intended as a substitute for advice from a registered physician or healthcare professional. If symptoms persist, please consult your doctor.

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