This week an article came out stating that experts are now saying that the target of 150 minutes of moderate physical activity a week is unrealistic. Unrealistic how?
Is it that Americans can't get 150 minutes in, or that they don't care enough to, or something else entirely?
The experts argued that we should be promoting the benefits of small increases in daily activity rather than focusing on the idea of a strict 150 minutes a week. They have some research to back up their argument:
A study of over 250,000 US adults aged 50-71 found that less than one hour of moderate physical activity a week or 20 minutes or more of vigorous physical activity less than once a week was associated with a reduced risk of all cause mortality of 15% and 23%, respectively...and a review of six studies found a 19% decrease in the risk of all cause mortality among people walking for 1-74 minutes a week compared with people doing nothing.
I'm all for the idea that SOMETHING is better than NOTHING, but is it a good idea to start telling people it's okay to fudge the guidelines? Is it better that the get a little, and not feel overwhelmed or like a 'failure' for not getting a lot in, or is this a slippery slope that's going to further perpetuate Americas obesity epidemic?
If any shift needs to happen I wish it would be to promoting everyday 'non-exercise' activities as things that can help meet your 150 minute a week requirement. I've recently fallen in love with walking again, and if time allows can spend 2 hours walking 5-6 miles around my favorite lake. I think if more people thought of after dinner walks with their family as time counted then they may be more likely to start making it a routine.
Being fit doesn't have to mean going to the gym 5x a week or running marathons. It could be a weekend hike with your husband, 10 minutes of yoga in the morning before a busy day, and a few walks with the dogs around the neighborhood.
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What do you think? Should we lower/alter expectations? What's your favorite non-exercise exercise?