HHS Updates Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans

HHS Updates Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans

The tweaks have been welcomed by health bodies such as the American Council on Exercise and the American Heart Association, which has adopted the updated guidelines as its official physical activity recommendations. In fact, only 26 percent of men, 19 percent of women and 20 percent of minors are getting the recommended amount of exercise. Even a single episode of activity gives short-term benefits such as lowering blood pressure, reducing anxiety and improving sleep. All of these minutes of activity count toward the 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous aerobic activity recommended for adults each week and the 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous aerobic activity recommended for youths each day.

"The new guidelines demonstrate that, based on the best science, everyone can dramatically improve their health just by moving - anytime, anywhere, and by any means that gets you active", said ADM Brett P. Giroir, MD, Assistant Secretary for Health in a press release.

A new addition to the guideline indicates that young children between the ages of 3 and 5 should engage in active play throughout the day to enhance growth and development.

The guidelines and related reports, published Monday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, say the failure to meet the recommended levels of aerobic physical activity leads to almost $117 billion in annual health care costs and 10% of all premature death.

Sallis is an active living researcher who is available to discuss the newly updated physical activity guidelines. "When we move more, we have better cardiovascular health, we are stronger and less susceptible to disease, and we feel better".

Adults remain advised to do 150 to 300 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous exercise each week along with muscle and strength training twice per week to achieve the most benefits, the same as in the first guideline released in 2008.

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Medicine moves faster every day.

The advice is similar for older adults, but activities should include things that promote balance to help avoid falls.

Editor's Note: These guidelines will be presented at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2018 on Monday, November 12.

It can decrease pain for those with osteoarthritis, reduce disease progression for hypertension and type 2 diabetes, reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, and improve cognition for those with dementia, multiple sclerosis, ADHD, and Parkinson's disease.

"We urge other health groups and interested parties across the country to adopt the guidelines and join us in committing to help ensure more people get moving", said Dr. Ivor Benjamin, the group's president, adding that exercise can "help people live longer, healthier lives for themselves, their families and their communities".

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