On October 7, new exercise guidelines from the Health and Human Services Department, or HHS, were set to attain good health. Most adults should get 2 1/2 hours a week. Of course this varies according to how old you are and your level of fitness. If you are a more sedentary adult, a little exercise is fine at first, such as a short walk around the block or a friendly game of softball. Adults who are more fit can scrunch all their week’s requirement into a shorter time period, with 75 minutes of intense exercise like running or a bike race. An hour long walk three times a week works just as well as a 30-minute weekday exercise class. If this doesn’t work out for those who are too busy during the week because of work or other issues, a two-hour bike ride on Saturday or Sunday can do the trick. In other words, if your activity is more intense, you can do less time.
Children and teens need even more activity. The HHS guidelines suggest at least an hour a day. This daily hour should include activities such as bike riding, soccer, skating or running. Muscle-strengthening activities like sit-ups and tug-of-war and bone-strengthening activities like jumping rope or skipping should be done three times a week.
This advice should be taken seriously since many children in the U.S. are considerably less healthy than their parents. Almost one third of children are overweight and 16 percent are obese. Even though young children are usually more active by nature, more and more schools are sadly decreasing the amount of recess and gym time. A recent study found that once in high school, less than a third of teens get an hour of physical activity a day.
Adults, according to the HHS, should do muscle-strengthening exercises such as weight training or push-ups at least two days a week. The good news for some adults is that carrying heavy loads or intense gardening can be included as one of these exercises. Even older adults who can still do these activities are urged to do so.
When doing aerobic activities, try to go at least 10 minutes at a time to increase heart rate enough to count. While doing moderate activity, you should be able to talk, but not be able to sing. While doing intense activity, you should only be able to say a few words before catching your breath.
The HHS hired an expert panel to look at all the information on the question of how much exercise is enough. The panel discovered that consistent physical activity can decrease the risk of heart attacks and stroke by at least 20 percent. This can diminish the possibility of an early death and help people stay clear of high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, colon and breast cancer, bone weakening and depression. The government studied this scientific report to determine the guidelines for these minimum activity levels.
The guidelines assert that these are minimum goals. Obviously, those who do more than the minimum will get better results.