The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services issued updated Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2nd edition, which provides strategies for being physically active to promote wellness and reduce the risk of chronic diseases. The previous exercise guidelines were issued in 2008.
Among the key advice:
- Even kids as young as 3 need to be active
- Both children and adults should move more and sit less
- Any physical activity is better than no physical activity
The updated guidelines include advice for all age groups, pregnant women, and those with chronic health problems or disabilities. They also include exercise safety tips.
In adults, the updated Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans notes health benefits associated with:
- 150 minutes to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week
- 75 minutes to 150 minutes of vigorous exercise per week
- An equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous aerobic activity, preferably spread throughout the week
For healthy adults, more than five hours of moderate-intensity exercise each week, as well as muscle-strengthening activities that involve all major muscle groups twice a week, provide additional health benefits.
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, health benefits associated with exercise include:
- Better weight control
- Reduced heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers, and fall risks
- Improved mental health, mood, and cognition
- Stronger bones and muscles
- Smoking cessation
- Improved sleep and sexual health
- Increased longevity
Sourced from: Department of Health & Human Services