How much physical activity do we need if we want to feel better and stay healthy? For most Americans, the answer is fairly simple: more than we do now.
according to US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Not only does being a “couch potato” take a personal toll, but also researchers in a The study was published in January 2015 in Advances in cardiovascular disease It is estimated that not exercising adds up to an additional $117 billion in healthcare costs each year.
The good news is that the updated physical activity recommendations for Americans from HHS, which were published in Journal of the American Medical Association (gamma) On November 20, make your suggested fitness goals more achievable than the old guidelines.
Members of the HHS Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee (a group of nationally recognized physical activity and exercise experts) reviewed the latest science in physical activity and health in order to update previous guidelines, which were Published in 2008. The new recommendations were based on the amount of supporting research as well as the consistency and quality of results in various areas of exercise and their relevance to health.
Many of the recommendations, including the suggested weekly intensity and amount of movement, have not been changed. According to the new recommendations, adults should continue to do 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity each week; They should do strength training two or more days a week.
Related: All you need to know about exercise
The new guidelines now include recommendations for young children (those 3 to 5 years old), emphasizing the importance of physical activity and active play in growth and development.
The biggest change for adults is the amount of time an exercise session needs to count toward the goal. In the previous instructions, the duration of the movement should be at least 10 minutes. In the updated guidelines, shorter periods of activity — even just a minute or two — can approximate the number of minutes exercised. “These small changes can provide increases in health-promoting activity,” the authors wrote in JAMA.
“Update is very important,” says Haitham Ahmed, a preventive cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio who was not involved in drafting the recommendations. “The data has increasingly shown that even minimal exercise is better than none,” he says.
“Even just taking the stairs instead of using the elevator or taking short walks throughout the day will increase your step count and also add cumulative aerobic exercise. This has tremendous long-term benefits,” says Dr. Ahmed.
Related: All you need to know about fitness
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention It is estimated that 1 in 10 premature deaths are associated with insufficient physical activity. Exercise leads to health benefits in nearly every organ and muscle in your body and can help prevent or reduce your risk of many chronic conditions, including:
Related: Why exercise boosts mood and energy
Here are the main takeaways from recommendations for physical activity
The following points are emphasized in HHS’s new physical activity recommendations:
- Move more and sit less.
- For people who get the least amount of exercise, even modest increases in physical activity can have health benefits.
- Young children between 3 and 5 years old should be physically active throughout the day.
- Children and teens 6 to 17 years old should get at least an hour or more of moderate to vigorous physical activity each day.
- Adults should do 150 to 300 minutes per week of moderate-intensity physical activity or 75 to 150 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity, or a similar combination of both.
- Adults should do muscle-strengthening activities two or more days per week.
- Seniors (65 years and older) should incorporate balance training into their exercise regimen.
Examples of moderate-intensity physical activity include brisk walking at 2.5 to 4 miles per hour or yard snatching. Vigorous activities include jogging, carrying heavy groceries, or participating in a strenuous fitness class.
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The Speaking Test is one way to determine the type of activity you do. In the JAMA report, the authors note that if you can talk while exercising, it’s likely to be moderate exercise. If you can only utter a few words before stopping to catch your breath, that’s pretty intense.
Related: How to start exercising and stick to it
Health experts want you to sit less and move more – all day long
The new report’s scrapping of the 10-minute shift standard aims to encourage people to be more active, which means moving more and sitting less, says Richard B. recommendations.
“We know that one of the most frequently mentioned barriers to physical activity is lack of time. Previously, some recommendations for adding an activity to daily life such as parking away or climbing stairs did not meet the guidelines due to match standards,” says Dr. Troiano. “The message now is clear that any moderate or vigorous activity – even short – is beneficial,” he says.
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These recommendations encourage people to do the best they can, even if they don’t get the amount of exercise stipulated in these guidelines, says Keri Stewart, MD, professor of cardiology and director of clinical/research physiology at Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore. Stewart was not involved in writing the recommendations.
“These guidelines suggest that just getting up to move is helpful, even if it’s only for 5 or 10 minutes.” He pointed out that it is not just about exercise. “It’s also important not to sit for too long without moving.”
Wondering where to start? Walk, suggests Dr. Ahmed. “Walking is my favorite exercise because it has low stress on joints and can be done just about anywhere with minimal need for fancy equipment,” he says. “If you walk briskly, you can really increase your heart rate and get into the aerobic zone, so overall it’s a great way to increase your daily physical activity,” he says.