(WXYZ) – The federal government has released its 2nd Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. It’s been ten years since the recommendations have been updated.
The key message to everyone is “get moving”
What I love is that the advisory committee for this dug into current scientific literature. And what was found, not surprisingly, is that most people have positive health outcomes when they are active.
So what’s changed?
Well, the previous guidelines said that you needed at least 10 minutes of aerobic activity for it to count towards your 150 minutes per week activity goal. But now, any movement that gets you active counts.
You’ve heard me talking before about becoming your own health hero and adding movement into your daily life.
Well, that’s the same concept in the new guidelines.
So short bursts of exercise like taking the stairs, doing housework, carrying heavy groceries, and shoveling snow are all great because they help you stay physically active.
How much exercise does the government recommend?
Adults still need 150 minutes per week of moderately intense physical activity as well as muscle-strengthening activity at least twice a week.
What’s interesting is that the new guidelines now recommend activity for 3-to-5-year olds, suggesting 3 hours a day as a reasonable target.
Preschoolers need to move and take part in active play throughout the day because this helps to strengthen bones, improve their growth and development.
What are the benefits of exercise?
Right now we are doing way too much sitting, and it’s hurting our health. But you can turn this around.
If you’re physically active, you can lower your risk for eight types of cancer. Specifically cancers of the breast, colon, bladder, kidney, lung, esophagus, endometrium and stomach.
Being active can help with anxiety, sleep, mood, depression, blood sugar levels, and brain health. You’ll also lower your risk for heart disease, have more energy and less fatigue.
For older adults, it can mean less falls and improved cognitive function.
What’s great about being active, is that you start reaping the rewards instantly. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been inactive for a while. Just start slowly with light physical activity and gradually increase it over time.
- Please make a commitment to do more activity than you do today. Set a goal to be active for 22 minutes every day.
- Muscle-strengthening activity requires that your muscles work harder than they normally do and should involve all the major muscles groups. You can use weights, elastic bands or your body weight (an example is push-ups).
- Be models of movement for your children. Kids between the ages of 6 and 17 years should do 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity every day.
- You’re never too old to be physically active. It’s great to do balancing training as well as this can really help prevent falls.
Would you like to learn about exercise and endorphins? Click here!
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Data pulled from WXYZ