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HealthInfo Waitaha Canterbury

Active older people

Ngā pakeke ngoi

Being active is good for everyone, including older people. Being active as you age can help:

Be active every day

The Ministry of Health recommends people aged 65 and over do at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity at least 5 days a week.

With moderate-intensity activity, your heart rate and breathing rate will increase but you should still be able to have a conversation. Moderate-intensity activities include brisk walking, dancing, cycling, swimming, housework and playing active games with grandchildren.

You do not need to join a gym or play a sport to be active. Try adding more activity into your daily routine by walking to the shops, gardening or washing the car.

Being active for small amounts of time throughout the day is as effective as doing it in one go. So, if you cannot do 30 minutes in 1 go, try doing 2 lots of 15 minutes or 3 lots of 10 minutes.

Each week it is also good to do:

Getting started

If you have not been active for a while and have concerns about your health, talk to your general practice team before you start. Especially talk to your general practice team if you have a health condition such as high blood pressure or heart problems. For more tips on getting started safely see Starting to be more active.

If you are not sure what activities are right for you, talk to your general practice team or other health professional about Support for getting active. There are several initiatives to help adults get physically active. Some of them are free or subsidised but you may have to pay for others.

Find activities you enjoy

You are more likely to stick with an activity you find fun and rewarding. No activity is better than another, so find what works best for you. The Greater Christchurch sport and recreation guide can help you find an activity. It has information about all the sports clubs, parks, classes, groups and programmes in your area.

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Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed February 2024.


See also:

Getting back into community-based activities

Page reference: 238249

Review key: HIKEA-53695