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Everyone Can Exercise

You are unique! Learn more about exercising for your specific needs! 

Exercise By Age Group

*Please talk to your physician prior to partaking in a new exercise regimen. This information is provided as a supplementary set of guidelines to improve the quality and longevity of your exercise endeavors. This is not an exhaustive exercise guide or replacement for a physician's guidance.



Ages up to 18


✓Moderate to vigorous intensity activity for 60 minutes or more a day


Ages 18-60


✓ Aerobic: 75-150 min moderate aerobic activity a week

✓ Strength Training: all major muscle groups at least twice a week (12-15 repetitions)

✓ 30 minutes of exercise a day is a good rule to go by!


61+ years of age


✓ Moderate intensity aerobic exercise for 30 min/day 5 days a week OR vigorous intensity aerobics for 20+ min 3 days a week

✓ 2x a week resistance training (focusing on major muscle groups)

  • 8-10 exercises, 10-15 repetitions each 

✓ 2x a week for 10 min flexibility training

✓ Mind-Body exercises (yoga, pilates, tai chi) address several issues at once




Type 1 Diabetes: develops when body’s immune system destroys pancreatic beta cells that make insulin (common in children and young adults)

Type 2 Diabetes:

the body’s cells do not use insulin properly; the pancreas gradually loses ability to produce insulin (most common form: 90-95% of all diabetes cases)

Exercise helps:

  • Type 1 Diabetics by reducing the risk for coronary artery disease and improving insulin receptor sensitivity

  • Type 2 Diabetics by promoting improved glucose regulation and weight loss

  • Both by preventing onset of coronary artery disease, stroke, and other complications

Exercise Recommendations

Both Types: Check blood glucose levels before and after exercising

✓100-300 mg/dL OKAY to exercise!

✓Exercise at same time each day, emphasis on consistency!

Type 1: exercise 3-5 days a week, build up to 30 min. Most recreation activities are okay!

Type 2: aerobic exercise low to moderate intensity for 5-6 days a week, low to moderate intensity resistance training (8- 10 different exercises a week)

What to Avoid

X blood glucose below 100 mg/dL, above 300 mg/dL

X Long duration (can induce hypoglycemia)

X High intensity (can induce hyperglycemia)

X Avoid injecting insulin into muscle groups being exercised

X Don’t forget to check wear on footwear


A allergic respiratory disorder characterized by a feeling of constriction in the chest, bronchospasm, and difficulty expiring.

Exercise Recommendation:

✓ 3-5 days of low to moderate intensity aerobic activity with resistance training

✓ low initial intensity, increased over time

✓ fluids and hydration

✓ choose a location/time of day with mild temperature and clean air conditions

What to avoid:

X asthma triggers (allergens, stress, cold air, viruses)

X exercise induced asthma -> happens after breathing in a lot of dry, cold air filled with allergens or pollutants


An arterial disease characterized by elevated diastolic blood pressure.

Common: ⅓ of adults in the U.S. has high blood pressure

Risks: hypertension leads to a high percentage of heart attacks and strokes and doubles the risk of developing a cardiovascular disease

Benefits of Exercise: weight loss, decrease in blood pressure

Exercise Recommendation:

✓150 minutes exercise per week

✓Suggestion: 30+ minutes of exercise at least 5 days/week

Aerobic activities: walking, cycling, swimming with resistance training

Circuit Training: low to moderate resistance with high repetitions

Yoga/Tai Chi: relaxation, strength, flexibility

What to Avoid:

X Isometric exercises

X Heavy Lifting

X Positions that put the head below the heart


Defined as having low bone mass following a scale measuring bone mineral density (BMD). As we age, the ratio of bone mineral formation to reabsorption becomes less balanced. Although many factors contribute to BMD, exercise is one way to combat this inequity!


Risks: increased possibility of fractures and structural weakness

Don't be afraid to exercise! Physical stress actually stimulates the development of bone mass and strength. This happens when forces are applied to bones through weight bearing activities such as aerobic and resistance training exercises. 

Exercise Recommendations (depending on existing injuries or fractures)

✓weight bearing exercises such as jogging, jumping, skipping, and hopping (try to incorporate them into fun activities, games, or sports!)

reduced duration and more frequent weight bearing sessions promote optimal bone density development

✓resistance training containing high-intensity strength training (promotion of greater strain stimulates bone adaptation)

What to Avoid (those with spinal fractures or other types of fractures-location dependent)

X spinal flexion or extension at neck, rowing motions, crunches

X jumping, high-impact aerobics

X resistance involving adduction or abduction of legs


Defined as chronic or acute inflammation of a joint.

Exercise Recommendations

✓low-impact aerobic activities such as swimming and aquatic exercise, cycling, walking on soft surfaces, and rowing

✓ intentionally longer warm-up and cool down periods 

✓ seek to gradually lengthen the time period of workouts to 30 min 3-5 days a week

✓ intensity is not a priority

✓ emphasis on proper form and technique 

✓ improve muscular endurance and strength (focus on increasing repetitions rather than weight)

✓ improve range of motion (ROM) surrounding affected joints (focus on these exercises at a minimum of once a day)

What to Avoid

X running or jogging or stair climbing (knee or hip arthritis)

X rowing (elbow arthritis)

X exercising during periods of inflammation

Low-Back Pain

A painful or aching sensation in the lower region of the back.

Physical deconditioning is suggested as a major cause of lower back pain among other causes such as trauma, blunt force, and skeletal irregularities. 

Exercise Recommendations

✓ Exercises should be performed on a regular basis (daily is best) and proper form and technique are incredibly important to learn and maintain to not exacerbate existing injuries

✓ Aerobic exercise is specifically beneficial because it induces blood flow to strained or injured areas, thus promoting healing

✓ Higher repetition of low intensity resistance training exercises will promote strength endurance (motor control while performing daily activities and movements is really the goal)

✓ Be patient and consistent. Studies have shown that strength increases and pain reduction may not show for up to 3 months

What to Avoid

X Unsupported forward spinal flexion

X Twisting at waist while holding weight, while feet are not pointing straight forward

X Lifting both legs at the same time, while laying on stomach or back

X Rapid movements in the manners described above

Weight Management

Weight management is a stage following significant weight loss or gain. This period is especially important to continue living steadily at a healthy weight.

Congratulations! You've gone through all the hard work of either losing or gain enough fat or muscle mass to achieve a healthy body weight! However, a common challenge after for many people is maintaining this new weight. This means adopting lifestyle habits that will promote healthy metabolic functioning such as a proper diet and regular exercise regimen.

What constitutes a significant change in weight?

✓ A change of 5% weight change is considered significant

(Example: A 150 lb person would need to lose/gain 7.5 lbs)

Calculate: Your weight x 0.05 = value representing the threshold for significant weight change

✓ A change of 3% or less in weight is not considered significant

Exercise Recommendations

✓ maintain a regular and challenging exercise regimen

✓ 60 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity per day (great rule to go by!)

✓ 150 minutes/week aerobic exercise results in weight loss in the range of 4.4- 6.6 lbs

✓ 225 to 420 minutes/week aerobic exercise for more significant weight loss goals ranging 11-16.5 lb

What to Avoid

X Obsessing over the numbers. Despite the guidelines above, focusing too heavily on this aspect will make the process more stressful than it needs to be. Focus rather on adopting your lifestyle choices in a manner that is sustainable and going to work with your schedule in the long run.

Prenatal Exercise

Prior to the birth of a baby or the period during a pregnancy

Exercising while pregnant and after pregnancies can reduce the risk of preeclampsia, can prevent and treat gestational diabetes, can mediate lower back and abdominal pain and injuries, reduces stress, fatigues, anxiety, and depression. And importantly, exercising with proper precautions does not put the fetus at risk.

Additional stress is placed on the joints of the pelvis, back, hips, and legs and the center of gravity for the mother is moved upwards and out. The outcome of this change is low back pain and challenges in balance and coordination. Flexibility, however, is improved due to a release in a hormone called relaxin. 

Exercise Recommendations

Moderate exercise on a regular basis

✓ Throughout course of pregnancy, volume and intensity of exercise should be reduced through the 2nd and 3rd trimesters

✓ Ambient temperatures are vital to avoiding overheating which can lead to hyperthermia (pregnant women are more sensitive to these temperature changes)

What to Avoid

X Exercising at high intensity or moving in sudden bursts of movement

X An intensity that induces a pounding heart rate, breathlessness, and dizziness

X Activities with a lot of jumping, bouncing, or running

X Contact sports and activities where falls may be possible

X Bending at the knees significantly, full sit-ups, leg lifts, straight-leg toe touches

Post Natal Exercise

The period following a pregnancy, after the baby has been delivered

This period is important for the mother to recover from delivery and regain physical strength as well as a sense of control and consistency over her body and life again. 

Exercising while pregnant and after pregnancies can reduce the risk of preeclampsia, can prevent and treat gestational diabetes, can mediate lower back and abdominal pain and injuries, reduces stress, fatigues, anxiety, and depression.


Exercise Recommendations

✓ use the first six weeks as a means of relaxation and gradual reintroduction to exercise

✓ following the first two months, exercise can be increased more significantly

✓ emphasis on gradual build up of endurance and consistency

✓ starting with walking multiple days a week is a great start

What to Avoid

X exercising at high intensity levels

X overheating and dehydration

X overexertion


All guidelines are derived from ACE Personal Trainer Manual The Ultimate Resource for Fitness Professionals Fourth Edition.

All claims, data, and suggestions are based in various research studies cited in this book.

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