Many American, Young and Old Do Not Meet Healthy Guidelines

Many American, Young and Old Do Not Meet Healthy Guidelines

Many American, Young and Old Do Not Meet Healthy Guidelines

Less than 33% of Americans meet the new physical fitness guidelines issued Monday by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

Among teenagers the rate is even worse, as only 20% meet the guidelines, even though officials said they could be easily achieved by most.

The guidelines say adults should have at least 150 mins of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity and 2 sessions of muscle-strengthening activity a week, while children between the ages of 6-17 should have at least 60 mins of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity per day and 3 sessions of muscle-strengthening a week.

Moderate-intensity activity includes walking briskly, riding a bike on level ground with few hills and playing doubles tennis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, while muscle-strengthening activity includes lifting weights, yoga and “heavy gardening,” such as shoveling.

Cardiologist William Kraus, a Duke University medical school professor who served on the advisory panel for the guidelines, said parking farther from entrances and taking the stairs also count as exercise.

The guidelines, which emphasize decreasing sitting time for adults, say the failure to meet these levels leads to about $117 billion in annual health care costs and 10 percent of all premature death.

The guidelines encourage schools and colleges to offer physical education, after-school sports, public access to facilities after school and expanded intramural sports, but Reebok’s director of social responsibility Kathleen Tullie said the lack of “actionable or accountability standards” reduce the impact the guidelines can have.

“There is no mechanism in place requiring kids to move during school and holding school’s accountable,” Ms. Tullie says. “We still prioritize the core academic subjects over the health and wellness of our children. This has to change.”

And on aging!

Keeping physically fit and having more flexible arteries may be Keys to slower brain aging, says a study from Australia’s Swinburne’s Center for Human Psychopharmacology.

“Exactly why this occurs is unclear, but research indicates that exercise and physical fitness are protective,” said lead author Greg Kennedy. “A healthier, more elastic aorta is also theorized to protect cognitive function, by reducing the negative effects of excessive blood pressure on the brain.”

Mr. Kennedy says that from early adulthood, memory and other features of cognition slowly decline, and the risk of dementia rises with age.

His study investigated whether fitness was associated with better cognition through a healthier aorta.

Participants were between the ages of 60 and 90 people (73 females and 29 males who were living independently in aged-care communities in Melbourne, Australia).

Eat healthy, Be healthy, Live lively

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