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

15 November 2018

(Chicago) - Today, Adm. Brett P. Giroir, M.D., assistant secretary for health, announced the release of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' second edition of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions meeting. The Guidelines spell out what ACE Certified Health Coaches and others like them do daily, which is help individuals set physical activity goals, monitor progress toward those goals, generate social support and self-reward.

But just 26% of men, 19% of women and 20% of adolescents are meeting the standards, officials said, costing the U.S. health care system $117 billion each year and leading to about 10% of premature deaths. Women are advised to do 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week during and after pregnancy.

The guidelines released Monday call for adults to get 150 minutes of aerobic exercise and two days of muscle-strengthening activity a week.

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From ages 6 through 17, at least an hour of moderate-to-vigorous activity throughout the day is recommended. "That's why we need to come together as a nation to get Americans moving". "When we move more, we have better cardiovascular health, we are stronger and less susceptible to disease, and we feel better".

A major update to the United States physical activity guidelines, published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association, offers a solution. A new key guideline for adults is to reduce sedentary time and increase movement.

Updated for the first time in 10 years, the guidelines add that those who now do very little physical activity have the most to gain by moving more.

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The most important message from those new guidelines "is that the greatest health benefits accrue by moving from no, to even small amounts of, physical activity, especially if that activity is of moderate (e.g., brisk walking) or vigorous (e.g., jogging and running) intensity", wrote Paul Thompson, MD, of Hartford Hospital in CT and Thijs Eijsvogels, PhD, of Radboud University Medical Center in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, in an accompanying editorial. "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".

"There is no mechanism in place requiring kids to move during school and holding school's accountable", says Tullie, who is founder and executive director of BOKS, a school-based fitness program.

There are immediate health benefits, attainable from a single bout of activity, including reduced anxiety and blood pressure, improved quality of sleep, and improved insulin sensitivity.

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The advice is similar for older adults, but activities should include things that promote balance to help avoid falls.

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