Updated U.S. Physical Activity Guidelines Allow for Small Steps

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released their updated version of the guidelines for physical activity earlier this month. This is the first update since the earlier version of the guidelines published in 2008. The study reported many of the health benefits of regular exercise and released the activity recommendations for children and all adults.

U.S. Physical Activity Guidelines:

  • Moderate-Intensity (brisk walking): 150 - 300 minutes per week (30-60 minutes per day, 5 days per week)

  • Vigorous-Intensity (running): 75-150 minutes per week (15-30 minutes per day, 5 days per week)

  • Resistance Exercise (weights):  2 days per week

With nearly 80 percent of adults not meeting the guidelines for both aerobic and muscle-strengthening activity, we have a ways to go. The study stated that some physical activity is better than none and recommended that Americans “Move More and Sit Less,” removing the previous requirement that exercise should be done in at least 10 minute increments, with a goal of encouraging Americans that any amount of activity counts towards meeting the daily activity goals.

Many of us experience the most common hurdles to exercising regularly include a lack of time, lack of motivation and lack of knowledge on how to do the exercises properly.

Ways To Overcome Barriers To Exercise:

  • Visit the park after work for your “me time” and add in a quick exercise session

  • Try a new routine or class, use new workout gear or rearrange your workout space if you workout at home

  • Try doing resistance exercise if you haven’t done so before. Using weight doesn’t have to be complicated. For someone new to resistance exercise, simply picking up a weight and doing a non-complicated movement such as a squat (or simply walking around with the weight) you can increase your heart rate and get in a mini-workout. Exercise doesn’t have to be complicated and we’re committed to making it simple and accessible to all.

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More Resources:

Executive Summary: Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans 2nd Edition

https://health.gov/paguidelines/second-edition/pdf/PAG_ExecutiveSummary.pdf


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