June 30, 2017

Do You Respect the Current Exercise Guidelines?

Sorry for missing two days, but the medical procedure I under went, left me fuzzy and not thinking clearly.  I am not sure I clear headed, but felt this article is important.

While exercise is important for our health, but I find the guidelines do not provide adequate exercise for the return in the amount exercise. 

It is well known that regular physical exercise has a plethora of associated health benefits and has been shown to prevent and improve symptoms across all types of diseases, but are the current guidelines too challenging for the average person? We investigate.
Exercise has been hailed as somewhat of a miracle cure. It is free, easy to do, works immediately, and has little to no side effects. Scientific evidence has shown that, whatever your age, being physically active makes you happier and healthier.

The United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) 2008 Physical Guidelines for Americans report that for adults, the most substantial health benefits occur with at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) per week of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity, or 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes) each week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity.

Muscle strengthening (otherwise known as resistance training) physical activities that involve all the main muscle groups and that are moderate or high intensity should also be completed on 2 or more days every week.

The 2008 Physical Guidelines for Americans document that taking part in the equivalent of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week lowers the risk of: premature death, coronary heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and depression.

Stepping up physical activity from 150 minutes each week toward 300 minutes (5 hours) not only further lowers the risk of heart disease and diabetes, but also reduces the risk of colon cancer and breast cancer, and prevents unhealthy weight gain.

Moreover, increasing physical activity to more than the equivalent of 300 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity further increases the benefits. For example, people who complete 420 minutes (7 hours) each week have an even lower risk of premature death, compared with individuals completing 150 to 300 minutes every week.

There are multiple ways to meet the recommended 150 minutes of exercise. In fact, research conducted by the University of California, Los Angeles Medical Center and the University of Pittsburgh showed that participating in a variety of activities - from walking and dancing, to gardening - improves brain volume and may reduce a person's risk of developing Alzheimer's disease by 50 percent.

It sounds easy enough: by working out for 30 minutes on 5 days of the week, those recommendations can be met. You would expect that with all the potential health benefits, the whole population would be following the recommendations and taking to the streets to walk briskly.

However, a huge proportion of the population is falling short. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 49 percent of adults meet the aerobic physical activity guidelines, and only 20.9 percent of adults meet the physical activity guidelines for both aerobic and muscle-strengthening activity.

So what is going wrong? With our busy lives, 30 minutes of moderate physical activity can be a challenging task to fulfill and may even be regarded, by some, as impractical or unobtainable.

Many of us claim that we do not have the time, energy, or inclination to fit in exercise. So not only are the guidelines and long-term health benefits failing to engage the population, but they are also being dismissed and ignored, and they even appear to be discouraging individuals to participate in any physical activity at all.

The HHS guidelines were released nearly 10 years ago, and in that time there has been considerable research into physical activity duration, frequency, and intensity. Do we really need to accumulate 150 minutes of physical activity every week? We take a look at some of the most recent findings.

The good news is that some health benefits can be gained with as little as 60 minutes of moderate-intensity activity each week, and some research has shown positive results with even less exercise.

One moderate exercise session of 20 minutes stimulates the immune system and sets off a cellular response that may help to suppress inflammation in the body, found a study published in Brain, Behavior, and Immunity.

These findings could help with treatment strategies for chronic diseases such as fibromyalgia and arthritis, as well as obesity.

"Our study shows a workout session doesn't actually have to be intense to have anti-inflammatory effects. Twenty minutes to half an hour of moderate exercise, including fast walking, appears to be sufficient," said Suzi Hong, Ph.D., in the Department of Psychiatry and the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine.

"Feeling like a workout needs to be at a peak exertion level for a long duration can intimidate those who suffer from chronic inflammatory diseases and could greatly benefit from physical activity."

Please read the full article here.

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