Wednesday , June 16 2021

11 minutes of daily exercise make it your body

The new guidelines for physical activity in the United States show that even daily activities in short amounts can make wonders for mind and body.

A committee appointed by the United States Department of Health and Human Services has published the country's latest exercise council. In its first update since 2008, the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2nd Edition (PAG), are based on a systematic review of physical activity and health research.

The authors write that "about 80% of American adults and adolescents are inadequately active", which is as surprising as it is not. Here are the guidelines recommended for the amount of exercise:

Ages 3 to 5:
Must be physically active all day to increase growth and development.

Ages 6 to 17:
At least 60 minutes or more of moderate to powerful physical activity daily.

At least 150 minutes to 300 minutes a week with moderate intensity, or 75 minutes to 150 minutes a week with intense aerobic physical activity, or a combination of both. They should also do muscle strengthening activities in 2 or more days a week.

Older adults:
To do multicomponent physical activity that includes balance training as well as aerobic and muscle strengthening activities.

A major change from the previous edition is that they no longer have a certain duration for exercise exercises. While they recommended to train for sessions for at least 10 minutes, they now write: "Current evidence shows that the total volume of moderate physical activity is related to many health benefits. It is not necessary to bout with the prescribed duration." So that's good .

What really stood for me was the list of benefits. Of course, we all know that exercise is one of the most important things we can do for our health – but it's quite sobering (or inspiring) to see how huge the benefits are.

And this is what I've calculated. An adult can divide the recommended 75 minutes of "Intensive Intensity Aerobic Physical Activity" to 11 minutes each day. By doing this you can achieve what the report refers to as "Health benefits associated with regular physical activity" (see box 2):

• Lower risk of serious mortality
• Lower risk of cardiovascular disease mortality
• Lower risk of cardiovascular disease (including heart disease and stroke)
• Lower risk of high blood pressure
• Lower risk of type 2 diabetes
• Lower risk of negative blood lipid profiles
• Lower risk of cancer of the bladder, chest, colon, endometrium, esophagus, kidney, lung and stomach
• Improved cognition
• Reduced risk of dementia (including Alzheimer's disease)
• Improved quality of life
• Reduced anxiety
• Reduced risk of depression
• Improved sleep
• Delayed or decreased weight gain
• Weight loss, especially in combination with reduced calorie intake
• Prevention of weight recovery after initial weight loss
• Improved bone health
• Improved physical function
• Lower risk of falls (older adults)
• Lower risk of fall-related injuries (older adults)

My goodness, who does not want all this ?! I will also work out for 12 minutes a day!

Aerobic activity is defined as "An activity where the body's large muscles move for a prolonged period of time, which improves cardiorespiratory fitness." Also known as endurance or cardiac solution, it does not have to be a marathon or anything too challenging. Moderate aerobic activity includes walking at 2.5 to 4.0 mph, playing volleyball or racing on the farm. Powerful activities can include jogging, carrying heavy foods or taking an exhausting training class.

In addition to recommendations for average adults, the report goes to detail with advice for children, pregnant and postpartum women, chronic health or disability adults, and how to exercise safely. It also suggests what kind of unexpected activities can go against their total bills – like parking farther away from a destination and walking, taking the stairs instead of an escalator, etc.

I think many people are afraid of exercise – it is often done to work so much harder than it is or that the benefits only come from exhausting work. Or maybe people do not want to buy in the jock culture. Regardless, these new guidelines show that most of us can harvest these very impressive benefits without a lot of effort. In the paper's discussion, the authors explain that new evidence "shows that achieving health benefits associated with physical activity can be easier than previously thought." Especially now that short questions are also posted.

I really recommend reading the whole thing. And meanwhile, I'll be back right back for three minutes with jumping jacks.

You can see the report here: The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans

The new guidelines for physical activity in the United States show that even daily activities in short amounts can make wonders for mind and body.

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