The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has finally rolled out a new set of health guidelines for the Americans after almost a decade. The guidelines were unveiled Monday at the American Heart Association’s annual meeting in Chicago.
The new health guidelines count any physical activity or exercise is better than none. In other words, as little as a few minutes of exercise, like a high-intensity short workout or climbing stairs to work instead of an elevator, will count towards a person’s daily exercise goal. The new guidelines differ
rom the older guidelines, which said that a person needed to perform an activity for at least 10 minutes at a time to get the full health benefits of the exercise.
“We now know that any amount of physical activity has some health benefits,” said Dr. Brett Giroir, the Assistant Secretary for Health at HHS, reported Live Science.
The new guidelines advise adults to perform 150 to 300 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous exercise each week along with muscle and strength training twice per week to achieve the most benefits.
Moderate activity includes brisk walking, water aerobics, ballroom dancing, or pulling weeds, while vigorous activity involves running, swimming laps, bicycling fast, aerobic dancing or working a shovel or hoe in the garden.
The guidelines recommend that children aged 3 through 5 years should be active for at least three hours a day to enhance growth and development, especially of the bones. Kids aged 6 through 17 are recommended to engage in at least 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity.
Giroir said currently, only about 26 percent of men, 19 percent of women and 20 percent of adolescents in the U.S. meet the physical activity guidelines, which is a cause of major concern considering the fact that inactivity contributes to 10 percent of all early deaths in the country.
He summed up the recommendations as “Move more and sit less.”