Is high intensity exercise good for older people ?

Time is precious even for retired older people. People struggle to do longer duration of exercise every week.

Hence high intensity exercise – intense but short duration exercise- has become the favourite for busy individuals . ( See Mayo clinic Website and NHS website for Information about Exercise Intensity)

A Norwegian group compared high intensity exercise with medium intensity exercise in 1567 participants. The study involved a older population with an average age of 72.8 years.

People who did high intensity seem to have a trend towards longer life expectancy in the study.

Although study results are not definitive for all types of exercise, it’s terms of starting to do regular exercise , it’s never too late to start exercising !


(1). Effect of exercise training for five years on all cause mortality in older adults—the Generation 100 study: randomised controlled trial
BMJ 2020; 371
doi: (Published 07 October 2020)
Cite this as: BMJ 2020;371:m3485.

(2). BMJ blogs. It’s never too late for older adults to start exercising. October 7, 2020

(3). Physical activity trajectories and mortality: population based cohort study. BMJ 2019; 365 doi: (Published 26 June 2019)

(4) Mayo Clinic: Exercise intensity: How to measure it.

(5). NHS website: Physical activity guidelines for older adults.

Disclaimer: Please note- This blog is NOT medical advice. This blog is purely for information only and do check the the sources where cited. Please consult your own doctor to discuss concerns and options relevant to you.

The views expressed in this blog represent the author’s views held at the time of drafting the blog and is likely to change overtime, particularly when new evidence comes to light. The blog is not necessarily endorsed by any organisation the author is associated with and views are not substitute for professional advice.