It’s A Little Sad We Need the Government for This

May 25th, 2011 by Amy Gonsalves Leave a reply »

It’s a little sad to me that we need the federal government to tell us to get a move on every day.  In an ideal world we wouldn’t need that—we’d be able to live our lives without the stress of an urban or suburban environment relegating us to a life of boxes.  (Lie on a box, eat from a box on a box, get in a box, drive to a box, sit at a box, stare at a box, get back in the box, drive to your box, sit on a box, stare at a box, lie on a box, and repeat!)

However, not only am I unable to change the world just by wishing for a change, I am also not likely to inflict my desires on an entire population.  (If only!)

So despite my sadness I find it somewhat useful to periodically check in on the federal guidelines for physical activity for Americans.  I think they are fairly weak requirements as I’m positive most would benefit more from somewhat higher standards, but I also understand a majority of citizens are very far from achieving even these daily amounts of physical activity… which brings on another wave of sadness!

How do you measure up to these standards?  How does your family measure up?  Your friends?  Are you doing what you can to achieve these recommendations for your body and health?

Children and Adolescents (aged 6–17)

  • Children and adolescents should do 1 hour (60 minutes) or more of physical activity every day.
  • Most of the 1 hour or more a day should be either moderate- or vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity.
  • As part of their daily physical activity, children and adolescents should do vigorous-intensity activity on at least 3 days per week. They also should do muscle-strengthening and bone-strengthening activity on at least 3 days per week.

Adults (aged 18–64)

  • Adults should do 2 hours and 30 minutes a week of moderate-intensity, or 1 hour and 15 minutes (75 minutes) a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity, or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity. Aerobic activity should be performed in episodes of at least 10 minutes, preferably spread throughout the week.
  • Additional health benefits are provided by increasing to 5 hours (300 minutes) a week of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity, or 2 hours and 30 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity physical activity, or an equivalent combination of both.
  • Adults should also do muscle-strengthening activities that involve all major muscle groups performed on 2 or more days per week.

Older Adults (aged 65 and older)

  • Older adults should follow the adult guidelines. If this is not possible due to limiting chronic conditions, older adults should be as physically active as their abilities allow. They should avoid inactivity. Older adults should do exercises that maintain or improve balance if they are at risk of falling.
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