New exercise guidelines: Move more, sit less, start at younger age

Getting physical activity every day can help maintain health throughout your life

However, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), just 26 percent of men, 19 percent of women and 20 percent of adolescents meet physical activity recommendations.

Preschool-aged children between 3 and 5 years old should be physically active throughout the day while children and teens ages 6 through 17 should do at least an hour of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity every day.

Cardiologist William Kraus, a Duke University medical school professor who served on the advisory panel for the guidelines, said parking farther from entrances and taking the stairs also count as exercise.

"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. "Some physical activity is better than none", wrote the authors, adding that "virtually everyone benefits from increased activities" and "even short episodes of small amounts of physical activity are beneficial".

Adults remain advised to do 150 to 300 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous exercise each week along with muscle and strength training twice per week to achieve the most benefits, the same as in the first guideline released in 2008.

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 US population.

The second edition, based on a comprehensive scientific review, reflects new knowledge about immediate and long-term health benefits from physical activity, as well as new evidence that physical activity can help manage chronic conditions that many Americans have.

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"Adults should move more and sit less throughout the day".

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

"The American Heart Association has long recognized physical activity as a proven way to lower chances of heart disease and live a longer, healthier life".

The group, which was not involved in crafting the guidelines, says that exercise isn't a cure for Alzheimer's, but it notes that physical activity and other lifestyle changes can reduce the risk of cognitive decline.

It can decrease pain for those with osteoarthritis, reduce disease progression for hypertension and type 2 diabetes, reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, and improve cognition for those with dementia, multiple sclerosis, ADHD, and Parkinson's disease.

ACE particularly commends the Guidelines for recognizing that for individuals leading sedentary lifestyles, incorporating any amount of physical activity can reduce health risks.



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