It's now easier than ever to get the recommended amount of exercise, according to new physical activity guidelines released Monday by the US Department of Health. While the total number of minutes per week has not changed, one important detail has emerged: well, the government says every little bit of activity – even a minute or two – counts.
The Update, Officially Known The second edition of the American Physical Activity Policy was announced at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions Session. Previously, the guidelines stated that physical activity must be performed in increments of 1
"Some physical activity is better than none," states the updated guidelines. "Adults who sit less and exercise a lot of moderate to vigorous physical activity have some health benefits."
The change is important, experts say, because many Americans simply do not meet the guidelines for adults – get at least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate physical activity or 75 to 150 minutes of intense activity per week. According to a study published in JAMA only 26% of men and 19% of women receive so much.
RELATED: 25 Exercises One Can Do Anywhere  The guidelines (original and updated) suggest that children between the ages of 6 and 17 receive at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity daily but only 20% of young people meet the recommendations for their age groups. And for the first time, the guidelines for children ages 3 to 5 recommend that they be physically active throughout the day.
"The new guidelines show that anyone, based on the best of science, can dramatically improve their health only through exercise – anytime, anywhere, and with all the resources that make you active," said Admiral Brett P. Giroir, MD , Deputy Health Secretary, in a press release from HHS. The guidelines cite research that suggests that an estimated $ 117 billion in healthcare costs per year and about 10% of premature deaths are related to failure to meet these daily and weekly activity goals.
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They also list several benefits of physical activity that have been discovered since the introduction of the first physical activity guidelines in 2008. These include improving bone health, weight status and cognitive functions for children; lower risk of eight cancers (compared to two in 2008); health benefits for the brain; reduced anxiety and depression risk; improved sleep quality; and reduced fall risk for older adults. Physical activity can also reduce the risk of health complications for pregnant women and those with chronic ailments.
Ideally, adults should receive a mix of different types of activities, including moderate aerobic activity (such as walking), vigorous aerobic activity (such as running), and muscle building activities (such as weight training). All three of these activities are good for your muscles and for your heart, research shows. For example, a recent study by the University of Iowa Medicine and Science in Sports and Sports found that lifting weights can reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke by 40 to 70% and less than an hour per hour took weeks to see the biggest benefits.
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The new guidelines also state that immediate health benefits can be achieved through a single onset activity – such as reduced anxiety and blood pressure, improved sleep quality and improved insulin sensitivity. Overall, the authors of the guideline in JAMA wrote that the evidence is clear: "Physical activity promotes normal growth and development, and can make people feel better, function better, sleep better, and risk reduce for many chronic diseases. "
Of course, most health experts have sung this song for quite some time – and we've long been advocates of the idea that every bit of practice counts. That's why it's so important to sit less, at work and at home. take more steps every day; and to find creative ways to engage in physical activity, even if you are not doing any official pulsing, sweaty workouts.
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