Released Nov. 12, U.S. Department of Health released an updated version of its “Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.” It reflects the extensive amount of new knowledge gained since the first edition, released in 2008. Here are 10 areas of knowledge covered in the guidelines:
- Preschool-aged children (ages 3-5 years) should be physically active 3 hours throughout the day to enhance growth and development.
- Children and adolescents ages 6 through 17 years should do 1 hour or more of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity daily: Aerobic, muscle-training or bone-strengthening.
- Adults should move more and sit less throughout the day. Some physical activity is better than none. Adults who sit less and do any amount of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity gain some health benefits.
- Adults should do at least 2.5 to 5 hours a week of moderate-intensity, or 1.25 to 2.5 a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity, or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity. Preferably, aerobic activity should be spread throughout the week.
- Additional health benefits are gained by engaging in physical activity beyond the equivalent of 300 minutes (5 hours) of moderate-intensity physical activity a week.
- Adults should also do muscle-strengthening activities of moderate or greater intensity and that involve all major muscle groups on 2 or more days a week, as these activities provide additional health benefits.
- As part of their weekly physical activity, older adults should do multicomponent physical activity that includes balance training as well as aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities.
- Older adults should determine their level of effort for physical activity relative to their level of fitness.
- Older adults with chronic conditions should understand whether and how their conditions affect their ability to do regular physical activity safely.
- When older adults cannot do 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity a week because of chronic conditions, they should be as physically active as their abilities and conditions allow.
This item appears in the December issue of InMaricopa.