Federal Government Updates Recommendations for Physical Activity for First Time in Ten Years
According to recent studies, adults need a bare minimum of 150 minutes per week of moderate intensity physical activity. The kicker? Only about 20% of Americans meet these recommended guidelines.
Leading a physically active lifestyle is key in reducing anxiety and depression, improving sleep, and keeping bones strong, as well as reducing your risk of high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers. Recent studies also show a marked reduction in the risk of Alzheimer's disease in older Americans.
Researchers have reported that leading a sedentary lifestyle has led to "an estimated $117 billion in annual health care costs", and can be attributed to about 10% of premature deaths.
Meeting Physical Activity Goals
With our busy schedules, leading an active lifestyle can be hard - seemingly impossible; however, the problem could be in how we approach meeting our physical activity goals in a way that meshes seamlessly with life's other demands.
The trick is really quite simple - just get moving! This doesn't necessarily require you to join a lavish gym, jog daily, or conform to elaborate bodybuilding routines. Meeting your goals - which recommend at least 22 minutes of movement a day - can be as simple as going for a walk. Nothing's off the table, so long as you keep your heart rate up.
Bike to work. Take the stairs. Do yard work. Bring the dog out for an extra walk. Let these simple, daily activities accumulate and, before you know it, you'll have met your goals.
These recommended guidelines extend to children ages 6 - 17. Younger individuals should shoot for 60 minutes or more of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity daily. Preschoolers, in particular, “should be physically active throughout the day to enhance growth and development.”
Devising a routine to promote daily physical activity is one of the most important health-conscious decisions an individual can make, at any age, to improve health and ensure a long, happy, and fulfilling life.
“Sit less, move more. Whatever you do, it really all counts.”
Bernstein, Lenny. “New Government Guidelines Say You Can Get Your Exercise in Small Doses.” The Washington Post, 12 Nov. 2018, www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/new-government-guidelines-say-you-can-get-your-exercise-in-small-doses/2018/11/11/3201d4c0-e5f8-11e8-bbdb-72fdbf9d4fed_story.html?utm_term=.2a57f8a1260d.
Aubrey, Allison. “New Physical Activity Guidelines Urge Americans: Move More, Sit Less.” NPR.org, 12 Nov. 2018, https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/11/12/666744493/new-physical-activity-guidelines-urge-americans-move-more-sit-less.
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