Exercise guidelines may be unrealistic

Common exercise guidelines are under fire by experts for being beyond reach for some adults. The guidelines call for a 150-minute weekly target of moderate activity in bouts of 10 minutes or more. In two separate articles in the BMJ, experts argue that these guidelines may be too much for most people and that there needs to be greater emphasis on making inactive people move more and not on matching those guidelines.

In one article, Philipe de Souto Barreto at the University Hospital of Toulouse, advises people who are sedentary to make small incremental increases in their activity levels, rather than pushing to achieve current goals. He points to previous studies which show even short periods of walking or just 20 minutes of vigorous activity a few times a month, can reduce the risk of death, compared to people who do no exercise.

In the second article, Phillip Sparling of Georgia Tech says doctors should tailor their advice, particularly for older patients. He suggests that for people over 60, doctors should discuss realistic options to increase activity, like getting people to stand up and move during TV commercial breaks.

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Sourced from: BBC, Exercise advice unrealistic, say experts