Published: Thu, November 15, 2018
Medical | By

New exercise guidelines say starting as young as 3 is best

New exercise guidelines say starting as young as 3 is best

In closing, the investigators emphasized, "Health professionals and policy makers should facilitate awareness of the guidelines and promote the health benefits of physical activity and support efforts to implement programs, practices, and policies to facilitate increased physical activity and to improve the health of the USA population".

"Doing something is better than doing nothing, and doing more is better than doing something", said Dr. Donald Lloyd-Jones, a preventive medicine expert at Northwestern University in Chicago.

About 80% of adults and teens in the USA don't get enough exercise.

The biggest change: Start young.

Finally, ACE is thrilled that The Guidelines underscore the growing body of evidence that groups led by professionals, such as exercise professionals and health coaches, or peers can help improve physical activity levels. They also recommend children get 60 minutes of exercise a day and three days of muscle-strengthening activity a week.

Another editorial published alongside the guidelines notes many reasons for the world's poor physical activity scores: people don't feel like they have the time, energy or ability, they don't think they enjoy it, their friends and family mightn't encourage or motivate them, or they might not have access to environments or facilities where they can be active.


Adults remain advised to do 150 to 300 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous exercise each week along with muscle and strength training twice per week to achieve the most benefits, the same as in the first guideline released in 2008. Most of it should be aerobic, the kind that gets the heart rate up such as brisk walking, biking or running. Women are advised to do 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week during and after pregnancy. Now even short times are known to help. New evidence has also shown a link to immediate health benefits including a reduction in blood pressure and anxiety and improvements in quality of sleep and insulin sensitivity.

Sitting a lot is especially harmful.

Long term benefits include: improved brain health, reduced risk of eight types of cancer (previously two), reduced risk for fall-related injuries in older adults and reduced risk of excessive weight gain.

Targeting young children is the goal of a project that Dr. Valentin Fuster, a cardiologist at New York's Mount Sinai Hospital, has worked on for years with the Heart Association and Sesame Workshop, producers of television's "Sesame Street".

"It was really successful", Fuster said.

The review found just 26 percent of men, 19 percent of women, and 20 percent of adolescents are getting enough physical activity, potentially costing them normal growth and development while increasing the risk of many chronic diseases.

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