In addition to the longer term benefts of physical

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In addition to the longer-term benefts of physicalactivity, some of the health gains are relatively acuteand occur for up to 24–48 hours following activity.These include the management of glucose toleranceand insulin sensitivity, maintenance of physical andcognitive function, mobility and possible benefts tomental well-being.Sessions of as little as 10 minutes can providehealth benefts that are comparable with thoseattained from longer sessions. For people whocurrently have low levels of physical activity, or whodo not have time to be active for longer, numerousshorter (10 minutes) sessions may be a moreachievable way to meet these guidelines.For those who are already regularly active atmoderate intensity, comparable benefts can beachieved through 75 minutes of vigorous intensityactivity spread across the week or a combination ofmoderate and vigorous activity.A small percentage of older adults continue withhigher intensity physical activity through regularrunning, swimming, cycling or competitive sports.Vigorous intensity physical activity provides healthbenefts that are comparable with, and in somecases greater than, those obtained throughmoderate activity. The available evidence indicatesthat substantial health benefts can be achievedthrough participation in 75 minutes of vigorousactivity spread across the week.34–37, 42It is importantto build up activity gradually to reach recommendedlevels. When older adults have achieved therecommended levels for several weeks (or forsome people, several months), then more vigorousactivities might be considered.The risk of activity-related injury is related to aperson’s usual amount of activity and the increasein volume or intensity of the activity performed.35, 37Small, gradual increases in the volume or intensityof activity will allow for adaptation with a low riskof injury.Older adults should also undertake physical activityto improve muscle strength on at least two daysa week.For older adults, there is strong evidence for theadditional health benefts of muscle strengtheningactivities. These include the maintenance offunctional ability and the reduction in bone andmuscle loss associated with ageing.34–37, 42Thebenefts are evident for the performance of simpleactivities such as walking, climbing steps orstanding up from a chair. There is also a reductionin the incidence of falls. Muscle strengtheningactivity is therefore recommended in addition to the150 minutes of moderate intensity activity describedin other guidelines. Although more research isrequired to defne the optimum dose of musclestrengthening activity, performing 8–12 repetitionsof muscle strengthening activities involving allmajor muscle groups twice per week will providesubstantial benefts for older adults.

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Term
Fall
Professor
Mr. Njoroge
Tags
Test, Department of Health, Wit, Chief Medical Officers, BHF National Centre for Physical Activity and Health

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