New exercise guidelines: Move more, sit less, start younger

Grant Boone
November 16, 2018

But just 26% of men, 19% of women and 20% of adolescents are meeting the standards, officials said, costing the U.S. health care system $117 billion each year and leading to about 10% of premature deaths.

"These guidelines are fairly clear that there's strong evidence that physical activity reduces a person's risk for developing dementia", said Keith Fargo, director of scientific programs and outreach at the Alzheimer's Association.

The most important message from those new guidelines "is that the greatest health benefits accrue by moving from no, to even small amounts of, physical activity, especially if that activity is of moderate (e.g., brisk walking) or vigorous (e.g., jogging and running) intensity", wrote Paul Thompson, MD, of Hartford Hospital in CT and Thijs Eijsvogels, PhD, of Radboud University Medical Center in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, in an accompanying editorial. On this point, the new guidelines haven't changed: Adults need a minimum of 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity physical activity.

The new guidelines marshal a growing body of evidence that documents immediate benefits of exercise such as reduced anxiety, improved sleep and improved blood sugar control, and long-term benefits (of regular physical activity), including cognitive benefits, and significantly lower risks of heart disease and certain cancers.

The standard prescription is at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity a week, or at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity a week, as well as muscle-strengthening activities on two or more days a week.

- The JAMA editorial, "New Physical Activity Guidelines - A Call to Activity for Clinicians and Patients", by Paul D. Thompson, M.D., Hartford Hospital, Hartford, Connecticut, and Thijs M.H. Eijsvogels, Ph.D., Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, the Netherlands.

"The American Heart Association has long recognized physical activity as a proven way to lower chances of heart disease and live a longer, healthier life".

A new "Super Earth" planet has been discovered
So one way or another, Barnard's star will likely make numerous appearances in the headlines over the next few years. It takes 232.8 days to orbit the star once, which means it's much closer to the star than Earth is to the Sun.

Move more, sit less and get kids active as young as age 3, say new federal guidelines that stress that any amount and any type of exercise helps health.

So, how much physical activity do we need?

One key change: It used to be thought that aerobic activity had to be done for at least 10 minutes.

Could you bike or walk more as part of your daily commute? According to the report, only around 26 percent of men and 19 percent of women actually get the recommended amount of physical activity on a daily basis.

For the first time, the guidelines make recommendations for young children aged 3 to 5 years old, noting that "preschool-aged children should be physically active throughout the day to enhance growth and development".

While the debate around health insurance and "pre-existing conditions" continues to rage in political circles the USA government is now officially begging people to take care of themselves a bit better.

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