The answer is probably MORE!

Even though adults 50-plus know that exercise is beneficial to many aspects of good health, many aren’t nearly physically active enough, falling short of the 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends.

Moreover, many people are not even aware of that straightforward recommendation

Among the 1948 people surveyed by Mehegan and Lampkin, 95% said regular exercise would improve their general health, 94% their physical fitness, and 90% their overall appearance. In addition, 93% said it would help them live longer and healthier lives.

However, only one-third were aware of the recommended 150 minutes of weekly exercise, and even fewer awere achieving that threshold.

Those who exercised 150 minutes a week ….

Typically, they spread their exercise across five and seven days.

They were more physically fit, and had higher than average mental well-being scores.
Here are the 150-minute scores compared with people exercising less than 30 minutes a week.
  • Brain health/mental sharpness 90% vs. 80%
  • Emotional/spiritual well-being 92% vs. 81%
  • Mental health 91% vs. 78%
  • Overall health 88% vs. 69%
  • Physical health 86% vs. 56%


Moreover, regular exercise seems to translate to both multiple spin-off benefits and other healthy-lifestyle choices.
Among those who exercise 150 minutes, 61% find they better manage stress, 50% socialize more, 46% are well-rested, and 54% eat more nutritious meals.
And with exercise comes satisfaction.
Adults who log the most exercise are significantly more satisfied with their emotional/spiritual well-being (94%), mental health (92%), overall health (91%), ability to handle stress (90%), physical appearance (81%), current eating habits (80%), and amount of sleep they get per night (75%).

By Laura Mehegan, AARP Research & Cheryl L. Lampkin, AARP Research 
Methodology: AARP conducted the online and telephone survey (in English and Spanish) of 1,948 U.S. adults 50 and older from May 22 to June 6, 2023 using NORC’s Foresight 50+ Panel. Survey data were weighted by gender, race, age, Hispanic ethnicity, marital status, Census division, and income to benchmarks from the Current Population Survey. 
Published July 27, 2023