Posted By: CustomVite Nutrition Team Date: December 3, 2018 Comments: 0
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has just issued new physical activity guidelines for America (the second edition of what was first released in 2008). Based on a review of several years of new research, the key takeaway from the new guidelines are: Americans need to step up their game and get moving!
Unfortunately, according to the CDC, only 21% of adults currently meet the 2008 physical activity guidelines. Many of us spend a lot of time sitting — in our car, at our desk, and on the couch. Compared to 1960, workers in the U.S. burn, on average, 140 fewer calories per day due to our modern, sedentary office jobs. While most of us know that sitting for prolonged period of time is bad for our health, the good news is that we can offset the damage by adding more physical activity to our daily lives. The old message was that you needed at least 10-minute bouts of aerobic activity for it to count toward the goal of 150 minutes a week. But, the new guidelines, based on the latest research, conclude that all movement that helps you stay physically active is important and can dramatically improve your health. In other words, everything counts! Doing things like taking the stairs instead of the elevator or taking mini-breaks during the day to get up from your desk and walk around can all add up to a reduced risk of disease and just plain feeling better.
In fact, a growing body of evidence documents immediate benefits from exercise such as reduced anxiety, improved sleep, improved blood sugar control, and long-term benefits such as a reduced risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Additional long-term benefits include a reduced risk of high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes, as well as a significantly lowered risk of heart disease and certain cancers. In other words, exercise is medicine. And very powerful medicine at that!
Here is a summary of the new guidelines, which also includes recommendations for kids and older adults.
Get Moving! The New Guidelines:
- Every day: active play for preschoolers throughout the day
- Every day: 60 minutes of aerobic physical activity for children
- 3 days/week: muscle-strengthening and bone-strengthening (i.e. jump-roping or running) activities for children
- Every day: move more, sit less. Remember, something is better than nothing.
- Every week: at least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity throughout the week
- 2+ days/week: muscle-strengthening activities that use all major muscle groups
- Follow the guidelines for adults
- Each week: balance training, as well as aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities
- Each week: If you can’t complete 150 minutes of aerobic activity due to chronic conditions, do as much as your abilities allow
- If you have chronic conditions, learn how those affect your ability to do physical activity safely
(1) Aubrey, A. (2018, November 12). New Physical Activity Guidelines Urge Americans: Move More, Sit Less. Retrieved from https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/11/12/666744493/new-physical-activity-guidelines-urge-americans-move-more-sit-less
(2) Lee, B. Y. (2018, November 13). New Physical Activity Guidelines For Americans: This Is What You Need To Do. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/brucelee/2018/11/13/new-physical-activity-guidelines-for-americans-this-is-what-you-need-to-do/amp/
(3) Odphp. (2018, November 12). Updated Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans Now Available. Retrieved from https://health.gov/news/blog/2018/11/updated-physical-activity-guidelines-for-americans-now-available/