Just for those who didn't know, a gosling is a baby goose, while a gander is the male counterpart of the species. Now that we have our categories defined, let's recap the standards for the groups. We previously covered the recommended amounts of physical activity for each age group; adolescents or goslings (ages 6-17 years) are recommended to accumulate 60 minutes play/movement daily, adults (ages 18 – 64 years) should accumulate 150 min. moderate/75 min. vigorous intensity exercise minimum 5 days a week, with an additional 2 days per week of full body strength training. This covers activity throughout the lifespan, until we reach older adulthood.
Older adulthood is the group of Americans over the age of 64, and according to the CDC can be further broken down into young old (60 - 69), the middle old (70 - 79), and the very old (80+). For the entire older adult demographic (65+ years) the minimum recommended amount of physical activity has not changed (150 minutes x moderate, 75 minutes x vigorous, or a mixture of both). The additional recommendations are included to increase health benefits. The CDC recommends that older adults accumulate 300 minutes a week of moderate and 150 minutes of vigorous intensity aerobic based activity with muscular strengthening activities on at least 2 days per week. Yes this is twice the amount of physical activity for people who just happen to be twice our age.
Increasing the amount of physical activity throughout the lifespan serves its largest purpose, disease prevention. Although the activity recommendation is twice the amount of that of the younger age groups, a reduction in physical capacity comes with natural healthy aging. This reduction in capacity alters the ranges of exertion that represent moderate and vigorous intensity, and calls for increased activity duration. The final additions to this activities list is: full body muscular strengthening 2 x week, with balancing exercises to prevent injury from falls.
So as you enter your twilight years the amount of physical activity increases two fold. This sure seems right since you should be retired and chasing grand kids about this point. Remember if you don’t use it you will lose it, and when it comes to getting older physical independence is just as important to a healthy life as being disease free.