New guide­lines say you can get your ex­er­cise in small doses

The Borneo Post - Nature and health - - Front Page -

by Lenny Bern­stein

AMER­I­CANS seek­ing to stay healthy can get their ex­er­cise in small in­cre­ments of just a few min­utes at a time, ac­cord­ing to new guide­lines is­sued by the govern­ment Mon­day that again en­cour­age a largely se­den­tary na­tion to start mov­ing. The guid­ance from a com­mit­tee ap­pointed by the Depart­ment of Health and Hu­man Ser­vices does away with the of­fi­cial govern­ment po­si­tion that phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity should oc­cur in ses­sions of at least 10 min­utes. The ear­lier po­si­tion was con­tained in the govern­ment’s first phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity guide­lines, is­sued in 2008. The doc­u­ment re­leased at the Amer­i­can Heart As­so­ci­a­tion’s 2018 Sci­en­tific Ses­sions is the first up­date since then. “Cur­rent ev­i­dence shows that the to­tal vol­ume of mod­er­ate-to-vig­or­ous phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity is re­lated to many health ben­e­fits; bouts of a pre­scribed du­ra­tion are not es­sen­tial,” the com­mit­tee of health ex­perts wrote. “Sit less, move more. What­ever you do, it re­ally all counts,” Brett P. Giroir, as­sis­tant sec­re­tary for health at HHS said in an in­ter­view. Thomas Al­li­son, di­rec­tor of sports and ex­er­cise car­di­ol­ogy at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Min­nesota, said short bouts of ex­er­cise are valu­able to break up long stretches of sit­ting. But re­search shows that mul­ti­ple short ses­sions should in­volve sim­i­lar en­ergy ex­pen­di­ture to have the same im­pact as one longer ses­sion or ad­di­tional time mov­ing will be needed, he said. Al­li­son en­dorsed the over­all in­tent of the new rec­om­men­da­tions, which en­cour­age move­ment of any kind, for any du­ra­tion, in a coun­try where about 80 per cent of the pop­u­la­tion is not get­ting the min­i­mum amount of rec­om­mended phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity. He sug­gested that deskbound work­ers and other se­den­tary peo­ple get up and move about two min­utes ev­ery half-hour. For adults to stay healthy, the new guide­lines call for 150 to 300 min­utes of mod­er­ate-in­ten­sity ex­er­cise or 75 to 150 min­utes of vig­or­ous-in­ten­sity phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity each week, along with at least two days a week of mus­cle-strength­en­ing ex­er­cises. Those rec­om­men­da­tions are un­changed from a decade ago. The guide­lines cite walk­ing briskly at 2.5 to 4 miles per hour, play­ing vol­ley­ball or rak­ing leaves as mod­er­ate-in­ten­sity ac­tiv­ity. Vig­or­ous-in­ten­sity ex­er­cise in­cludes jog­ging or run­ning, car­ry­ing heavy gro­ceries or tak­ing a stren­u­ous fit­ness class, the panel said. Chil­dren and teens ages 6 to 17 should get 60 min­utes of vig­or­ous ac­tiv­ity ev­ery day, plus three days a week of ac­tiv­ity that strength­ens mus­cles, ac­cord­ing to the rec­om­men­da­tions. Older adults should do ex­er­cise to im­prove bal­ance as well as car­dio and mus­cle-strength­en­ing work­outs, the panel said. The panel noted that in the decade since the first guide­lines were is­sued, re­search has ex­panded the recog­nised ben­e­fits of move­ment. These in­clude re­duc­ing the risk of can­cer, anx­i­ety and de­pres­sion; im­prov­ing cog­ni­tive func­tion and sleep; aid­ing bone health and reg­u­lat­ing weight gain in preschool­ers; pro­tect­ing against weight gain, ges­ta­tional di­a­betes and post­par­tum de­pres­sion in preg­nant women and new moth­ers; and de­creas­ing the risk of falls among older peo­ple. Even a sin­gle work­out can have some im­pact in some ar­eas, the com­mit­tee noted. Re­searchers have also learned more in re­cent years about how dam­ag­ing a se­den­tary life­style can be. The re­port notes that “an es­ti­mated $117 bil­lion in an­nual health care costs and about 10 per cent of pre­ma­ture mor­tal­ity are as­so­ci­ated with in­ad­e­quate phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity.” “Be­ing phys­i­cally ac­tive,” the guide­lines state, “is one of the most im­por­tant ac­tions in­di­vid­u­als of all ages can en­gage in to im­prove their health.” – Wash­ing­ton Post.

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