The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued its first-ever Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. Think of these as the “Food Pyramid” for healthy exercise and activity level. Experts now recommend two and a half hours of exercise (aerobic and strength training) for adults per week, and an hour a day for children. The plan seeks to offer science-based guidance to help us all improve our health by getting more active.
With a reported 59% of adults (aged 18 to 64) not getting enough physical activity, you can see why the government would be urging us to exercise a bit more.
Regular, moderate exercise has shown many health benefits in study after study. Lowering the risk of heart disease, different cancers, osteoporosis, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, depression and more are just a few of the benefits. Exercise also…
- improves your mood
– helps you sleep better
– boosts high-density lipoprotein (HDL), the “good,” cholesterol while bringing down low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the “bad,” cholesterol
– helps manage your weight
– puts the spark back in your sex life
For children and adolescents, their bodies growing rapidly, the benefit of regular exercise to cardiovascular and respiratory fitness is well known. Active kids:
- have stronger muscles and bones
– have a leaner body and less likely to become overweight
– have a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes
– have a better outlook
The good news is that young people can have these benefits without doing formal, regimented workouts.
In fact, the remarkable health benefits come from all those trusted staples of childhood… the jungle gym, tag, tug-o-war, kickball for at least 60 minutes each day.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 16% of children aged 6-19 years old are overweight or obese – triple the number in 1980.
Now more than ever, we need to get kids up and moving… to help them now and in the future.
Of course, getting yourself up and moving isn’t any easier… there are lots of challenges to overcome. The first, and hardest, is getting started. The government provides a guide you can use to help you get more activity into your routine… help you choose the activities to try and ways to schedule workouts into your day.
If you’ve been inactive for a long time, talk to your doctor first before you make any changed. But once you get the okay, there are lots of ways, simple everyday things; you can do to be more active. Try to…
1. Walk as much, and as often, as you can.
2. Trade your sit-down mower for a push one.
3. Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator.
4. Park at the far end of the parking lot.
5. Take a brisk walk during your lunch hour or break at work.
6. Walk the length of your favorite shopping mall.
7. Get off the bus a few stops before your usual one and walk.
8. Lift weights or use a treadmill while you watch your favorite TV shows.
None of these activities cost any more than your time and if you incorporate healthy exercise as part of your daily like it will increase your life span and the quality of your life.
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Article from articlesbase.com
Despite common knowledge that exercise is healthful, many American adults are not regularly active, and some are not active at all. Catherine Waters of the UCSF School of Nursing explores measures that can be taken to not only live longer but also live better by being physically active. Series: UCSF Mini Medical School for the Public [7/2008] [Health and Medicine] [Show ID: 14534]
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