Health Care

New exercise guidelines say starting as young as 3 is best

New exercise guidelines say starting as young as 3 is best”

The United States now has low levels of adherence to the guidelines - only 26 percent of men, 19 percent of women, and 20 percent of adolescents meet the recommendations.

A major update to the United States physical activity guidelines, published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association, offers a solution. This lack of physical activity is linked to $117 billion in annual health care costs, according to a report published Monday in the Journal of the American Medical Association that lays out the new guidelines.

Duration stays the same - at least 2½ to 5 hours of moderate-intensity or 1 ¼ to 2 ½ hours of vigorous activity a week, plus at least two days that include muscle-strengthening exercise like pushups or lifting weights.

"It's actually easier to achieve the recommendations in the physical activity guidelines", said ADM Brett P. Giroir, MD, assistant secretary for health at HHS. Finally, the revised guidelines reflect the latest science from the past 10 years, which is that physical activity not only wards off disease but helps individuals to sleep better, feel better and more easily perform daily tasks. "The mortality risk related to sitting is not observed among people who do 60 to 75 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity a day, but this amount of activity is far more than most people obtain". In 2008, when the first "Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans" were released, government scientists could assert only that adequate levels of physical activity helped reduce the risk for breast and colon cancer.

The American Heart Association said it will adopt the guidelines as its official recommendations. In fact, only 26 percent of men, 19 percent of women and 20 percent of minors are getting the recommended amount of exercise. Additionally, healthy weight management through physical activity can reduce the risk of progression of a current condition or the risk of developing a new chronic condition.

The old message was you needed at least 10-minute bouts of aerobic activity for it to count toward the goal of 150 minutes a week.

Cardiologist William Kraus, a Duke University medical school professor who served on the advisory committee for the guidelines, said the 10-minute block was removed because it could have discouraged some people who didn't have that much time from moving.

Exercise can also improve cognition in those with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder or dementia, the guidelines say, and even reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease.

A new addition to the guideline indicates that young children between the ages of 3 and 5 should engage in active play throughout the day to enhance growth and development.

"It is hard to convey the health benefits of physical activity in a way that does not sound like it is a "cure all", wrote doctors Brett Giroir and Don Wright, who both work under the US Secretary for Health.

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