Hey there! We’ve got some big news to share this week! The federal guidelines for physical activity recommendations have just been updated for the first time in 10 years! But guess what, not much as changed. The foundation of the recommendations still suggest a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity and muscle-strengthening activities two or more days a week.
However, the new guidelines have a few new emphasizing points and key guidelines for specific populations, such as specifics to preschool-aged kids, older adults, and adults with disabilities. For example:
“Preschool-aged children (3 through 5 years) should be physically active throughout the day to enhance growth and development. Adult caregivers of preschool-aged children should encourage active play that includes a variety of activity types.”
“Children and adolescents aged 6 through 17 years should do 60 minutes (1 hour) or more of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity daily.”
For adults, “additional health benefits are gained by doing physical activity beyond the equivalent of 300 minutes (5 hours) of moderate-intensity physical activity a week.”
“As part of their weekly physical activity, older adults should do multicomponent physical activity that includes balance training as well as aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities.”
“When adults with chronic conditions or disabilities are not able to meet the above key guidelines, they should engage in regular physical activity according to their abilities and should avoid inactivity.”
In addition, there are recommendations for “Safe Physical Activity,” including:
“Increase physical activity gradually over time to meet key guidelines or health goals. Inactive people should “start low and go slow” by starting with lower-intensity activities and gradually increasing how often and how long activities are done.”
“Protect themselves by using appropriate gear and sports equipment, choosing safe environments, following rules and policies, and making sensible choices about when, where, and how to be active.”
“Be under the care of a health care practitioner if they have chronic conditions or symptoms. People with chronic conditions and symptoms can consult a health care professional or physical activity specialist about the types and amounts of activity appropriate for them.”
The guidelines also do a great job at highlighting the many known health benefits of physical activity. The list is pretty extensive, so be sure to check out the guidelines in its entirety. But it includes health benefits for which there is fairly new evidence for, such as “improved bone health and weight status for children aged 3 through 5 years,” “brain health benefits, including improved cognitive function, reduced anxiety and depression risk, and improved sleep and quality of life,” and “for people with various chronic medical conditions, reduced risk of all-cause and disease-specific mortality, improved function, and improved quality of life.”
The real take home message is that we need to move more, move often, and that all movement counts. Also remember that your physical activity minutes do not need to be completed consecutively, but can be added up over time!
Until next time,
Fuel Physio Team