New federal exercise guidelines: Move more, sit less, start younger

Uncle Sam wants you to sit less and move more. Here’s how you can meet the new exercise guidelines

However, the second edition released here at the American Heart Association meeting and online in JAMA removed the statement that only 10-minute bouts of physical activity counted toward meeting the guidelines and now say moving more frequently throughout the day helps toward meeting the recommendations.

"The new guidelines demonstrate that, based on the best science, everyone can dramatically improve their health just by moving - anytime, anywhere, and by any means that gets you active", said Adm. Brett Giroir, assistant secretary for health.

Less than a third of Americans, and only one in five teenagers, meet new physical fitness guidelines issued by the federal government Monday, the Department of Health and Human Services said.

Conclusions: Health professionals and policymakers should promote awareness of the updated guidelines and support efforts to implement programs, practices and policies to facilitate increased physical activity to improve the health of the USA population. Experts say starting young encourages lifelong healthy habits so children ages six through 17 should do at least an h. Women are advised to do 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week during and after pregnancy.

"Physical activity fosters normal growth and development and can make people feel better, function better, sleep better, and reduce the risk of many chronic diseases", wrote the authors in the Journal of the American Medical Association. "ACE commits to be a passionate voice for raising awareness of the Guidelines and the way in which physical activity brings health, vitality and joy to lives".

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"In 2008, the American Heart Association adopted the Physical Activity Guidelines and again we are proud to lead the call for health groups across the country to view these guidelines as beneficial to both public health and a worthy tool for clinicians", Ivor Benjamin, M.D., FAHA, American Heart Association president said in a press release.

There are more long-term benefits from physical activity, including improved brain health, reduced risk of eight types of cancer (previously two), reduced risk for fall-related injuries in older adults, and reduced risk of excessive weight gain.

The authors note that even a single episode of physical activity has been shown to reduce anxiety symptoms, improve cognition, and reduce blood pressure, among other things.

Physical activity helps manage more chronic health conditions.

"The guidelines are right on, but the key is implementation", commented Carl "Chip" J Lavie, MD, medical director of cardiac rehabilitation and preventive cardiology at the Ochsner Heart and Vascular Institute in New Orleans. And for individuals with health conditions, including hypertension and type 2 diabetes, exercise can decrease disease progression.

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