Published: Fri, November 16, 2018
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

HHS Releases Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2nd edition

HHS Releases Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2nd edition

"The new guidelines demonstrate that, based on the best science, everyone can dramatically improve their health just by moving - anytime, anywhere, and by any means that gets you active", Adm. Brett Giroir, assistant secretary of health at the Department of Health and Human Services, said in a release.

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 USA population. The Guidelines spell out what ACE Certified Health Coaches and others like them do daily, which is help individuals set physical activity goals, monitor progress toward those goals, generate social support and self-reward.

The guidelines recommend an hour of "moderate-to-vigorous" activity each day for children 6 to 17, along with muscle-strengthening activities two days a week, like climbing on playground equipment or playing basketball. On this point, the new guidelines haven't changed: Adults need a minimum of 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity physical activity.

New long-term health benefits for physically active adults included in the updated guidelines include: assisting in the prevention of 6 types of cancer including bladder, endometrium, esophagus, kidney, stomach, and lung, while also reducing the risk for dementia and Alzheimer's.

The most important message from those new guidelines "is that the greatest health benefits accrue by moving from no, to even small amounts of, physical activity, especially if that activity is of moderate (e.g., brisk walking) or vigorous (e.g., jogging and running) intensity", wrote Paul Thompson, MD, of Hartford Hospital in CT and Thijs Eijsvogels, PhD, of Radboud University Medical Center in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, in an accompanying editorial.

Getting a sedentary nation off the sofa - only 20 percent of us get the recommended amount of exercise a day - is a big concern for the government, which updated its guidelines Monday for the first time in 10 years.

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- The JAMA editorial, "New Physical Activity Guidelines - A Call to Activity for Clinicians and Patients", by Paul D. Thompson, M.D., Hartford Hospital, Hartford, Connecticut, and Thijs M.H. Eijsvogels, Ph.D., Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, the Netherlands.

A single period of sustained activity has immediate health benefits, including reduced anxiety and blood pressure, improved quality of sleep and improved insulin sensitivity.

The American Heart Association said it will adopt the guidelines as its official recommendations.

So, how much physical activity do we need?

There are new key guidelines for preschool children to be active throughout the day to enhance growth and development.

Based on new evidence, the updated guidelines say exercise can reduce symptoms of anxiety, slow the progression of hypertension and Type 2 diabetes, and help prevent eight types of cancer in adults. "We still prioritize the core academic subjects over the health and wellness of our children".

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