When you’re looking at your calendar and busy schedule for the upcoming months, it’s important that you factor in the need to get regular exercise. The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently released a new set of guidelines to update the ones released about 10 years ago. While the recommendations haven’t changed significantly, there are a few additions that you need to consider when trying to decide how and when you’re going to incorporate a fitness routine into your everyday life.
What Does The HHS Recommend?
The HHS guidelines are not a fitness regimen, rather a set of recommendations issued that advise on how to maintain the health and wellbeing of people from age 3 through elderly adulthood. Most importantly, the guidelines point out that it’s not all about what size clothing you wear and the number you see when you step on the scale, rather it also includes the mental and long-term benefits that come along with regular exercise and an overall focus on health and wellness.
One of the guidelines indicates that it’s never too early to start framing exercise in a healthy mindset for young children. Preschool kids, aged 3-5, should be continually physically active throughout the day. Exercise can include playing at a park, walking and running, and spending time outdoors. Additionally, screen time should be limited at that age. Once kids reach the next age bracket, from age 6 to 17, they should continue at least an hour of moderate-to-vigorous activity daily. This hour should include both muscle-strengthening and bone-strengthening activities three times per week.
When it comes to adults, it can sometimes be difficult to squeeze in the necessary exercise between jobs, family commitments, and other social activities. The HHS recommends incorporating exercise for a minimum of 150 minutes (2.5 hours) per week of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes) of vigorous activity. But the 150 minutes is the minimum recommendation, with many additional benefits when you exercise at a moderate-intensity pace for 300 minutes (5 hours) each week. Both cardiovascular and muscle-strengthening activities should be considered, while exercising all major muscle groups at least two days every week. Once adults reach an older age, or if they have underlying or chronic health conditions, they should consult a doctor to determine what the appropriate type and amount of exercise is for their individual condition.
Additional guidelines covering pregnancy and the post-partum healing process also indicate that women with healthy pregnancies should engage in 150 minutes (2.5 hours) of moderate exercise each week.
Is It All About Weight?
The short answer is no. You shouldn’t be strictly concerned about how much you weigh. Rather, you should always consider how your entire body is functioning as a unit. Obesity has been steadily on the rise in the US over the past decade, with nearly 40% of adults being considered obese. Being classified as obese is more than just a few extra pounds or going up a clothing size. There are a multitude of health problems which arise once you become overweight or obese, including diabetes, high blood pressure, certain types of cancer, and other serious health issues.
What Should My Next Steps Be?
If you’ve been struggling with weight loss and are ready to take action by losing weight and gaining a better understanding of how carrying that extra weight is affecting your life, visit us at NEW You Weight Loss. By taking advantage of our free consultation, we can help you determine what the best method of weight loss is, in addition to assisting you in the process from losing your first pound all the way through achieving and maintaining your weight and fitness goals. If you’re ready to make a change, now is the best time to do it with one of our expert team members.