The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (La Société canadienne de physiologie de l’exercice) released its first new physical activity guidelines in over a decade, and their new lower minimum exercise suggestions have raised a few eyebrows.

For adults 18 to 64, the Guidelines now recommend a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous intensity aerobic activity per week and further muscle or bone-strengthening activities using major muscle groups at least twice per week.

For adults 65 and better, the Guidelines are about the same: a minimum of 150 minutes, with extra emphasis put on enhancing balance for those with poor mobility.

Wondering where these guidelines come from? The CSEP’s webinar notes explained that they arrived at the guidelines after getting input from stakeholders including over 1000 Canadian and international fitness, health, medical and education professionals, in addition to various partner organizations.

So, do we really require less exercise than we did in the past decade? Not at all, according to the group.

For starters, the Physical Activity Guidelines are meant to be minimum targets for time spent on healthy activities- and the group hopes that making the minimum guideline goals more realistic will inspire more sedentary Canadians to get active. As they point out in their webinar notes, “Having guidelines that are unattainable to the vast majority of the population risk disenfranchising those who would benefit most from an increase in physical activity.”

Among those benefits, of course, is a lowered risk for developing colorectal cancer!

Learn more about the Canadian Society of Exercise Physiology at their site here.


From left to right: Child, Youth, Adult and Older Adult Physical Activity Guidelines (will open on the CSEP site)