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Aging and Physical Activity

Content by: NCES, Inc.

Being physically active is important as we age. A healthy lifestyle, including a healthy diet and regular exercise, can slow down the onset of many age-related changes. As little as 30 minutes of daily moderate activity can provide health benefits.

Aging and Physical Activity

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Benefits of Being Physical Active:
❦ Improves heart health
❦ Helps control and maintain a healthy blood pressure
❦ Lowers your risk for developing diabetes
❦ Lowers high cholesterol and your risk for developing high cholesterol
❦ Helps reduce or maintain your weight
❦ Helps strengthen and maintain healthy muscles, bones, and joints
❦ Improves self-esteem and well-being
❦ Reduces feelings of depression and anxiety
❦ Perfect stress reliever
❦ May help memory and cognitive functions
❦ Improves sleep


How Active are You? A sedentary lifestyle includes light physical activity that is common with day-to-day life. Moderately active lifestyles include moderate physical activity, such as walking briskly for at least 30 minutes a day in addition daily activities.
An Active lifestyle includes 60 or more minutes a day of physical activity, in addition to daily activities.

Are You Getting Enough?

The Dietary Guidelines recommendations:
❦ For health benefits, commit to 30 or more minutes of moderate physical activity most days of the week.
❦ To prevent unhealthy weight gain, strive for 60 minutes of moderate physical activity most days of the week.
❦ To lose or maintain weight loss, strive for 60-90* minutes of moderate to vigorous daily activity.

Quick Tips!
- Activities that do not increase your heart rate such as walking while shopping, do not count towards the 30 minutes or more.
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids throughout the day.

Next Steps:
1. Pick a time and activity that is best for you.
2. Take the stairs whenever possible.
3. 30-60 minutes per day does not have to be all at once!

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