New guidelines from the federal government this week aim to get Americans moving and combat obesity.
It states that any kind of physical activity has benefits… not just exercise.
Susan Francis, says she started working out for a specific reason.
"Just trying to not get old too fast, trying to stay in shape," Francis said.
Now, new guidelines from the Department of Health and Human Services say she’s on the right track.
It extols the benefits of exercise… but emphasizes all physical activity… just as we enter the time of year where we like to eat the most.
”We’re made to move. We’re made to be active and not doing so is very counteractive,” said sports medicine physician Corbett Boone.
The study says 150 minutes of activity a week, just 20 minutes a day provides numerous benefits.
Fitness instructor Isabell Balcells pushes her students even further, with periods of high-intensity, followed by so-called “recovery periods” of slightly lower intensity.
”100 percent feel better because I think once you learn to work at the higher intensity and learn to work at a higher threshold your body does feel a lot better,” Balcells said.
Research shows this kind of workout provides the best benefits.
Experts used to say you had to exercise for at least 20 minutes to get any benefit, then they lowered it to 10 minutes. Now, the experts say any physical activity can add up to a benefit.
And for the first time, the guidelines call for about three hours a day of activity for children ages 3 to 5.
Doctors say all this movement helps prevent disease.
”Cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, different types of cancers,” said Dr. Boone, who adds, it can even improve brain health.
And here’s something to motivate you… the experts say those who start from little-to-no exercise to a regular regimen show the biggest benefits.
Susan Francis calls it, her “fountain of youth.”
”Several years back, I had a scan for bone density and it was a little bit low, and that was before I started Crossfit and I had a new scan a few years after I’d been doing it and it increased my bone density to a normal level,” Francis said.
And she says that’s helped keep her motivated… and hopes it might give her some more company at the gym.
For more information on the new guidelines, click on this link.
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