Medicine

New government guidelines say you can get your exercise in small doses

New government guidelines say you can get your exercise in small doses

According to the guidelines, these low levels of physical activity among Americans have health and economic consequences for the nation, with almost $117 billion dollars in annual healthcare costs and 10 percent of all premature mortality attributable to failure to meet levels of aerobic physical activity recommended in the guidelines. Failure to adhere to the guidelines contribute to increased healthcare costs, more health issues and premature mortality, the agency said.

Pregnant and post-partum women should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio a week.

Conclusions: Health professionals and policymakers should promote awareness of the updated guidelines and support efforts to implement programs, practices and policies to facilitate increased physical activity to improve the health of the USA population.

The new guidelines prescribe activity throughout the day for preschool children 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.

For older children and adults, moderate-to-vigorous activity can include brisk walking, running or "anything that makes the heart beat faster", and adults should aim for about 2½ hours each week. The new guidelines also emphasize decreasing sitting time for adults.

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"Adults should move more and sit less throughout the day". Stay ahead with the MD Mag Newsletter.

In 2008, when the first "Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans" were released, government scientists could assert only that adequate levels of physical activity helped reduce the risk for breast and colon cancer.

A single period of sustained activity has immediate health benefits, including reduced anxiety and blood pressure, improved quality of sleep and improved insulin sensitivity.

On the inducement side, getting regular physical activity has now been linked to lower rates of eight different kinds of cancer, including those of the lung, kidneys and stomach. The Guidelines spell out what ACE Certified Health Coaches and others like them do daily, which is help individuals set physical activity goals, monitor progress toward those goals, generate social support and self-reward.

"Multiple studies demonstrate that the steepest reduction in disease risk, such as for coronary heart disease, occurs at the lowest levels of physical activity", wrote Paul Thompson, chief of cardiology at Hartford Hospital, and Thijs Eijsvogels, an exercise physiology professor at Radboud University Medical Center, in an editorial accompanying the guidelines. He wishes there was more focus on what schools - which regularly eliminate physical fitness in favor of teaching time - could do to address the problem.


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