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What’s the Prescribed Dose of Exercise?

Australia’s Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines for adults recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week. You can knock that out in just 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. You’ll get added benefits by including activities that help strengthen muscles twice a week, such as exercising with weights, working with resistance bands, heavy gardening or even carrying shopping.

Moderate intensity activity will make you feel warmer, breathe harder and make your heart beat faster than usual, but you should still be able to carry on a conversation. 


Examples of moderate-intensity aerobic activities:
  • brisk walking (at least 2.5 miles per hour)
  • water aerobics
  • dancing (ballroom or social)
  • gardening
  • tennis (doubles)
  • biking slower than 10 miles per hour

Vigorous intensity activities will push your body a little further. They will require a higher amount of effort. There is substantial evidence that vigorous activity can bring health benefits over and above that of moderate activity. If you’re working at this level, you won’t be able to say more than a few words without pausing for a breath. You’ll probably get warm and begin to sweat.


Examples of vigorous-intensity aerobic activities:
  • hiking uphill or with a heavy backpack
  • running
  • swimming laps
  • aerobic dancing
  • heavy gardening like continuous digging or hoeing
  • tennis (singles)
  • cycling 10 miles per hour or faster
  • jumping rope

For optimal benefits, include both moderate- and vigorous-intensity activity in your routine along with strengthening and stretching exercises.


Content Source:

Department of Health. Australia’s Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines and the Australian 24-hour Movement Guidelines. Retrieved from: