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Keep Moving They Say...New Exercise Guidelines for Americans

The Department of Health and Human Services recently released new physical activity guidelines for Americans. Good news! Health officials no longer suggest a minimum duration of physical activity for it to be beneficial. They also recommend that people should sit less. Check out the highlights of the new recommendation below and keep moving!

Here are the key takeaways:

  • Preschool-aged children (those between the ages of 3 and 5 years) should be physically active throughout the day.

  • Children aged between 6 and 17 should do 60 minutes or more of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity daily. This should include equal portions of aerobic, muscle-strengthening and bone-strengthening activity.

  • Adults should do at least 150 minutes to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity or 75 minutes to 150 vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity each week, or some combination. It's best when this activity is spread throughout the week, and adults should include muscle-strengthening activity of moderate or greater intensity that involves all major muscle groups on two or more days a week. If adults engage in more than 300 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity, they will derive additional health benefits.

  • Pregnant women or those have recently given birth should still engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity a week, with consultation from their health care providers.

  • Adults with chronic conditions and disabilities should still engage in the recommended amount of physical activity if they can do so.

  • Older adults should still adhere to the regimen prescribed for all adults, but they should also do multicomponent physical activity. In particular, they should perform exercises that include balance training to reduce their risk of falls.

Aerobic activities include anything that increases one's heart rate, such as biking, dancing, walking or swimming. Muscle-strengthening activities include weight lifting, push-ups and even working with resistance bands. Bone-strengthening activity includes any activity that produces force on the bones, which promotes their growth, such as jumping rope, running or playing basketball.

For more detailed information check out the complete report.

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