In a joint effort to update 12-year-old activity recommendations for older adults, the American Heart Association and the American College of Sports Medicine issued revised guidelines.

The full report can be downloaded as a PDF from www.acsm.org or www.americanheart.org (search 3049282). The most basic recommendations are as follows:

Do moderately intense aerobic exercise (5 or 6 on 10-point scale) 30 minutes a day, five days a week. Or, do vigorously intense aerobic exercise (7 or 8 on 10-point scale) 20 minutes a day, 3 days a week.

And: Do eight to 10 strength-training exercises, 10-15 repetitions of each exercise twice to three times per week

If you are at risk of falling, perform balance exercises and have a physical activity plan.

In addition, these recommendations should be adhered to:

  • At least twice each week, older adults should perform muscle-strengthening activities to maintain or increase muscular strength and endurance.
  • To maintain the flexibility necessary for regular physical activity and daily life, older adults should perform activities that maintain or increase flexibility on at least two days each week for at least 10 minutes each day.
  • Older adults with one or more medical conditions for which physical activity is therapeutic should perform physical activity in a manner that effectively and safely treats the condition(s).
  • For older adults who are not active at recommended levels, plans should include a gradual (or stepwise) approach to