Running for Our Lives: Recent Change to Federal Health and Fitness Guides Encourage Casual Fitness

This month, for the first time in 10 years, the federal government updated their physical-activity guides. While the core exercise recommendation–150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity–remains the same, there are a few changes. Study after study has shown that Americans sit more than ever for longer than they ever have. Almost a quarter of all-American adults sit for more than eight hours a day, with only 23% of all citizens meeting the previous exercise recommendations.

In the spirit of these findings, the federal government has updated their recommendations. At the bottom of the guidelines of fitness recommendations for adults reads: “move more and sit less.” This simple statement can do wonders for American health and fitness. Tasks like shopping for groceries, vacuuming, raking leaves, and gardening can all be natural, active baby steps for anyone intimidated by hitting the gym and pumping iron. While not technically ‘exercise,’ or exercising for exercising’s sake, any action is better than nothing.

In one study, activities like these were even proven to help combat mortality. Last year in the American Geriatrics Society, a review article found that among older women, every 30-minute chunk of housework or other ‘light activities,’ like the ones above, lowered their risk of dying compared to their couch potato counterparts. Taking half an hour to work on the house might save your life one day! If you work in an office and find it hard to carve out time to exercise, try taking five to 10-minute breaks every hour, walking to lunch, and fidgeting in your seat to help you get up and get moving!

Are you surprised by these findings? Want to learn more about health tips and tricks? Leave a comment below with your thoughts!


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