New Exercise Standards

Uncle Sam Wants YOU to Exercise!

Well, the government has finally caught on and drafted new exercise standards! For the first time ever, the federal government has issued Physical Activity Guidelines. These guidelines were based on years of research and data and hopefully, their conclusions come as no surprise. In short, it states:

  • Regular physical activity reduces the risk of many adverse health outcomes.
  • Some physical activity is better than none.
  • For most health outcomes, additional benefits occur as the amount of physical activity increases through higher intensity, greater frequency, and/or longer duration.
  • Most health benefits occur with at least 2 hours and 30 minutes (150 minutes) a week of moderate-intensity physical activity, such as brisk walking. Additional benefits occur with more physical activity.
  • Episodes of activity that are at least 10 minutes long count toward meeting the Guidelines.
  • Both aerobic (endurance) and muscle-strengthening (resistance) physical activity are beneficial.
  • Health benefits of physical activity occur for children and adolescents, young and middle-aged adults, older adults, and those in every studied racial and ethnic group.
  • Health benefits of physical activity are attainable for people with disabilities.
  • The benefits of physical activity outweigh the risks of injury and heart attack.

For a complete guide, check out the Physical Activity Guidelines (PAG) page at

So what does this mean for us? Hopefully, it just affirms what you already know. But the more subtle impact should be one of growing endorsement of fitness within our culture. I would hope to see employers start to foster an environment of fitness through programs and paid time off for their employees to exercise, recognizing the benefit it will give their employees and their organization. (Note: the Japanese culture’s practice of exercise prior to the start of the workday).

I’d hope to see less of physical lackadaisicalness in our society. For example, I had to laugh this afternoon as I walked into a building and stood behind a crowd of people waiting for the elevator to go ONE floor up, while a small group of us took the stairs?!

A culture of physical well-being can become a reality. Use your circle of influence to raise awareness, and watch the dominos tumble! Adopt these new exercise standards and adjust your fitness routine for added health benefits.

You can find this article and other motivational fitness information in the October 2008 article of The Bullhorn. You can sign up for this free monthly e-zine below.

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