Where We Stand on Exercise and What to Do Next

By Sandy Schroeder

For the last 10 years the U.S. government has been urging us to move more, but 80 percent of us are still not getting the message.

Now the new guidelines say even a few minutes of exercise helps. "Sit less, move more. Whatever you do, it really all counts," Brett P. Giroir, assistant secretary for health at HHS said.

Other experts agree as they nudge us to break up long periods of sitting as often as possible. Dr. Thomas Allison of the Mayo Clinic suggested desk workers get up and move two minutes every half hour.

What We Need to Do

Looking ahead at a typical week, you could meet current health guidelines if you did 150 to 300 minutes of moderate intensity exercise or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous activity with two days of strength building exercises.

Make the Math Work

If you move two minutes for each half hour at work in a typical 8-hour day, five-day work week, you would be active 80 minutes, leaving 45 minutes, which could be knocked off with 30 minutes of walking five days a week.

Get Creative to Make It Happen

Most of us figure out ways to accomplish the things we want by being creative. Ask yourself how you could make these exercise guidelines really work for you.

Moving frequently at work and walking every day may be the answer, or something else might fit better.

Choose moderate activities - Walking briskly at 2.5 to 4 miles per hour, raking leaves or playing volleyball works.

Choose vigorous exercise - Jogging, running or toting heavy groceries all count as strenuous exercise.

Swim or cycle - You can do these workouts moderately or vigorously.

Look for new options - Take a high intensity dance or spin class or log in more moderate time cleaning the house or working in the garden.

Find a workout buddy - Make a pact to do 150 minutes a week and then find ways to do it, walking, jogging, biking or working out.

Add more sports - Shoot hoops, play soccer or look for neighborhood volleyball games.

Look for everyday options - Bike to the park with your kids or help them practice soccer.

Activate the weekends - Get your whole family outside to camp out, hike, or spend an afternoon on local bike trails.

More Exercise Notes

The guidelines tell us kids ages 6 to 17 should get 60 minutes of vigorous activity every day along with three days of muscle building exercise weekly.

Preschoolers ages 3 to 5 should be physically active every day for normal development and growth.

Seniors should stay active with muscle strengthening, cardio and balance exercises. Daily walking is recommended.

Pass the message along and figure out how you are going to move more today.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Goodyear, Ariz.

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