Being physically active is a necessity for people of all ages to be healthy. Unfortunately, the lack of physical activity in the US is pervasive and wide-reaching with a great number of the population being sedentary. Do you know how much exercise you need? Read on to learn the Physical Activity Guidelines recommended by HHS.
The data reports that too many people spend too many hours sitting and do not get enough exercise. Regrettably, this terrible inactivity is an after-effect of our modern society. People spend most of their waking hours sitting. The majority of the workforce spends most of their time at a desk, only very few occupations require people to be active as they used to be decades ago. Plus, our recreational activities tend to keep us inactive as well.
Most people spend eight hours of their day at their inactive jobs, followed by more sitting at home in front of the TV, computer, or video game, before going to sleep. What’s even scarier is that 33 percent of adolescents spend 3 or more hours watching TV according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This translates into future generations being even more sedentary and with many more ailments.
How Much Exercise Do You Need?
By now, most people are aware of the importance of being active and having a regular exercising routine. But are you meeting the Physical Activity Guidelines to maintain good health?
The US Department of Health and Human Services has established minimum activity requirements. The following are the Physical Activity Guidelines:
- Adults should engage in aerobic activity of moderate intensity for at least 150 minutes a week – that is 5 x 30-minute sessions of moderate cardio per week
- Or aerobic activity of vigorous intensity for 75 minutes a week – that’s 3 x 20-five minute sessions of intense cardio
- Plus, 2 days of muscle strengthening a week
- Children and adolescents should be physically engaged for at least 60 minutes a day, aerobically for at least 3 days a week as well as for muscle strengthening activities.
Despite government Physical Activity Guidelines, it is sad to report that the stats related to our current state are alarming. Here is the latest CDC report:
- Only 20 percent of adults meet the aerobic and muscle-strengthening guidelines.
- The picture gets even scarier in relation to our youngsters: Only 8 percent of youth ages 12–19 and 42 percent of children ages 6–12 getting (49% of boys versus 35% of girls) are getting at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day. Overall, the most active age group is that of children ages 6–12, but not even half of them meet the recommended physical activity guidelines.
The Reality of a Sedentary Body
Dr. Mercola, a renowned osteopathic physician, and New York Times bestselling author, has recognized the dangers of our current trend. It seems that disease processes follow long hours of sitting, even if you exercise.
- Sitting for hours increases toxic buildup and interferes with muscular and cellular systems.
- Hours of continuous sitting raise blood pressure, blood sugar, triglycerides, and cholesterol levels.
- Lack of physical activity doesn’t allow the body to produce the necessary mechanical stimulation of the tissues to turn the cells into fat-free mass cells, instead of fat mass cells.
Remember, being sedentary not only contributes to overweight states but correlates with diseased states. Activity is a must for the human body. Exercise not only helps you lose body fat but improves your mood, and your self-esteem, and keeps your internal systems functioning properly. If you are not currently being active, do yourself and your loved ones a favor: follow the Physical Activity Guidelines. Your body and mind will thank you!
To a Fitter Healthier You,
The Fitness Wellness Mentor