New exercise recommendations: how to achieve your goals

It is not new that regular physical exercise is very important. And, recently, the World Health Organization updated the guidelines for the practice of physical activity.

The WHO reevaluated the minimum time in movement considering age, sex and adjacent chronic diseases. Thus, with small changes in routine, it is possible to have a much healthier life.

Check out this article for more information and tips on how to achieve the new WHO goals!


What are the new WHO recommendations for physical exercise?

The WHO updated the recommendations for the practice of physical exercise and published a document for the population to have a healthier life.

Before, the indication was 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of intense exercise per week for all age groups.

With the update, the time for physical activities increased based on each age and physical condition. The definitions of moderate and intense training were also revised.

Please note that:

  • Moderate activity : exercise that generates a slight increase in heart rate such as walking on the street or on a treadmill, weight training, gymnastics, water aerobics and swimming;
  • Intense activity : exercise that requires an increase in heart rate, some examples are street or treadmill running, aerobics, football, basketball and tennis.

The general indication for all ages, according to the WHO, is to practice some physical activity to maintain the health of the body and mind, but there are some specificities:


For adults (18 to 64 years old), the new recommendation is to practice 150 to 300 minutes of moderate activity per week or 75 to 150 minutes if it is intense. It is also possible to do both types of training to achieve the recommended goal.

It is also oriented to practice muscle strengthening exercises at moderate intensity, exercising the main muscle groups (dorsal, pectoral and quadriceps) on 2 or more days of the week.

Children and adolescents

Exercises benefit children’s physical and mental growth and development.

For children and adolescents (5 to 17 years old), the recommended daily amount is 60 minutes per day of moderate intensity physical activity, at least 3 times a week. This includes playing, walking, running, swimming and cycling.

It is also advised by WHO that the family limit the time that children or adolescents spend using electronic devices.

The excessive use of cell phones, tablets, television and computers is related to sedentary behavior. Which can lead to problems such as obesity , diabetes , high blood pressure, relationship difficulties (prosocial behavior) and reduced sleep duration, points out the document.

Pregnant women and postpartum women

For pregnant women or postpartum women the recommendation is 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week, with the inclusion of aerobics and muscle strengthening. Some examples are walking, dancing, pilates , yoga and water aerobics.

Always remembering that doubts about which physical exercises are allowed or not are clarified by health professionals.

Old people

Those who practice physical exercises age with more health and well-being.

For elderly people (over 65 years), the ideal is 150 to 300 minutes of moderate weekly physical activity or 75 to 150 minutes of intense exercise.

It is also possible to combine the two types throughout the week to achieve the suggested goal.

People with chronic diseases

The WHO points out that it is possible to increase the quality of life of patients with chronic diseases with the practice of regular exercise, even in low-intensity activities.

The recommendation is at least 150 to 300 minutes of light to moderate exercise per week or 75 to 150 minutes of intense weekly activity.

Muscle strengthening and functional balance training 2 to 3 times a week is also indicated.

Everyone benefits from the practice, but this is especially important in some groups. For example:

For people with hypertension and type 2 diabetes, the WHO highlights that an active life helps control blood pressure and blood glucose and reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.

In addition, regular exercise can significantly reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression , which can affect people with chronic illnesses in general.

What is the health impact of engaging in more physical activity?

Regular physical activity increases the feeling of well-being.

Quality of life is the main impact when practicing physical activities. With this habit, it is possible to prevent and control diseases such as metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, hypertension and obesity, according to the WHO.

Regular practice can also help in reducing stress , anxiety and depression. In addition to contributing to the feeling of well-being, self – esteem , good mood and regular sleep.

It is also important, before beginning any physical activity, to seek professional medical and physical guidance. The help of professionals makes the rhythm, frequency and choice of movements bring even more benefits.

How to include physical exercises in everyday life?

It is possible to include physical exercises on a daily basis without necessarily having to go to the gym or join a sports team. Through routine activities, it is possible to increase the time of walking or body movement.

The combination of these activities weekly makes it possible to reach or exceed the recommended minimum of physical exercises, getting closer to maintaining a healthier and more active life.

Check out some tips on how to adopt the practice of physical exercises on a daily basis.

Go to work or go to the market on foot

Walking at a light / medium pace is a good option to achieve the recommendation of weekly physical exercises.

To include her in the routine, the option may be to leave the car at home and walk to the market or work, for example. With 30-minute walks, from Monday to Friday, you can reach the necessary 150 minutes.

A good option is to choose calm paths with sidewalks. Gradually, it is possible to choose longer paths, increasing the walking time.

Swap your car for a bike

Using the bicycle instead of the car is also a great option to include an exercise in the routine. You can make the exchange on the way to work, to the market, to the park or to the home of relatives and friends.

Cycling for 30 minutes at a light / medium pace can help you achieve the recommended weekly amount of physical activity in a more fun and enjoyable way.

It is also important to wear a helmet and to wear comfortable clothes and sneakers, and not to forget to bring a bottle of water to keep you hydrated while cycling.

Walk the dog

Taking the dog for a walk helps achieve the weekly exercise target as well. If the animal is a small breed (which means it will not be able to do long walks and runs), it is important to combine other exercises.

But, if the animal is very agitated and resistant, you can do 30 minutes of moderate walking daily. At the end of the week, it is possible to reach the indicated 150 minutes.

The advantage is that walking the pet is a stimulus to movement.

Use the ladder instead of the elevator

Changing the elevator up the stairs can help maintain a healthier life, as you exercise the thigh muscles, stimulate fat burning and improve heart rate.

5 minutes of using the stairs, 3 times a week, add up to 15 minutes of physical activity – for those who live in buildings, this can be easily achieved.

The pace and intensity can be increased gradually, increasing the cardiorespiratory requirement.

Dancing at home

Dancing at home can also be a way to move your body. In addition to being a physical exercise, this practice is a great way to relax and have fun.

You can practice in the home room or in a room with free space and choose your preferred music and dance style.

Before starting the practice, do 5 or 10 minutes of warm-up and stretching. And after you’re done, repeat the 10-minute stretch to slow your heart rate.

Practicing 3 times a week, the activity already has impacts on physical and mental health.

Inserting small physical activities in your daily life can be a good option to maintain a healthier life. Regular physical exercise can have many benefits for the body and mind.

Check out the Healthy Minute for more health and exercise tips .