Increase Your Energy Using New Physical Activity Guidelines

Increase Your Energy Using New Physical Activity Guidelines

I introduced the new first ever Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans in my previous post. Published by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), the guidelines outline exactly how much and what kinds of activity you need to help control your weight and reduce your risk of major health problems.

The Guidelines are great because you can figure out how much activity you need and how much the rest of your family needs because it describe the benefits of physical activity for all ages and abilities, dividing the recommendations into three age groups:

Children and adolescents: 6-17

Adults: 18-64

Older adults: 64 and older

What I found interesting is that because everyone’s daily activities vary so much, the Guidelines focus on “health-enhancing activities” which, when added to your everyday life activities, can improve your health. You probably can guess what they recommended as health enhancing activities: jogging, brisk walking, yoga, lifting weights, dancing and swimming.

The Guidelines then divide everyone into one of the four different categories of personal activity.

  1. Inactive or no activity beyond basic daily activities.
  1. Low active or less than 150 minutes a week of health enhancing activities. That amounts to just over 20 minutes a day of doing something.
  1. Medium active or 150 to 300 minutes of health enhancing activities a week. That is just under 45 minutes a day of a health enhancing activity.
  1. High active or more than 300 minutes of health enhancing activities a week. I am guessing the authors were looking for an hour a day of health enhancing activity.

What’s Your Best Activity Target?

This can be confusing because you have probably read several different recommendations over the years. These new guidelines recommend that for the best in health benefits you need a minimum of 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity such as fast walking or 75 minutes of intense activity such as jogging or swimming laps or jogging. Additional activity is a bonus because benefits do keep adding up as the amount of your activity increases.

No more excuses about not having enough time.  The research shows that by increasing your activity by as much as 10 minutes a day can be beneficial. That may mean walking around the block, going up and down stairs, doing jumping jacks in place.

The guidelines also recommend doing exercises for strength at least two days a week. Middle-aged and older people need to pay attention to this to increase and preserve bone and muscle just to keep up with your daily activities. You may want to consider using weights, resistance bands, or lots of digging when you’re gardening. All they want is  150 to 300 minutes of health enhancing activities a week. That is just under 45 minutes a day of a health enhancing activity.

The guidelines also recommend doing exercises for strength at least two days a week. Middle-aged and older people need to pay attention to this to increase and preserve bone and muscle just to keep up with your daily activities. You may want to consider using weights, resistance bands, or loots of digging when you’re gardening.

2 Comments
2 Comments
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