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Posts tagged: physical activity guidelines

Four Tips for Staying Active in Winter

Post by: The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease Weight-control Information Network

As we’ve watched the Olympics on TV, the weather has sometimes made it hard to keep moving toward our own exercise goals. If you’re not a world-class winter athlete, or can’t stand going out in the cold, how can you stay active in winter? What can you do to keep moving throughout the year?

Here are some tips that may help:

  • Choose activities that are fun. In all seasons, people are more likely to be active if they like what they are doing. In winter, you may enjoy a brisk walk at a local shopping center or a dance class.
  • You can do many activities to strengthen muscles indoors. As the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend, do 2 or more days per week of strengthening activities such as lifting light weights, doing full or modified push-ups, or working with resistance bands (large rubber bands).
  • Keep an activity log to track your progress.
  • If your time is limited, do 10 minutes of exercise at a time. Spread these bursts of activity out throughout the day. Every little bit counts!

Find out more in the Weight-control Information Network’s Better Health and You: Tips for Adults. This brochure suggests physical activity to meet the requirements of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. It also helps readers figure out if their weight is healthy, explains why a healthy weight is important, and describes how to create a plan of healthy eating and drinking. It features a tip sheet people can print and post to remind themselves in all seasons of the importance of regular physical activity, healthy eating and drinking habits, and staying at a healthy weight.

What helps you to stay active during the cold days of winter?

National Physical Activity Plan: Looking Ahead

Post by NPAP

Since its launch nearly four years ago, the National Physical Activity Plan (NPAP) has acted as a roadmap to policy makers and advocates to create a more physically active nation. The NPAP is a document comprised of 240+ evidence-based recommendations for change in the policies and systems that guide the environments in which we live, work, learn, play, and commute.

There was early recognition that the success of the NPAP would hinge upon both successful implementation and evaluation of the evidenced-based recommendations highlighted throughout the plan. Additionally, in order to reflect the current state of the science, it was recognized that the NPAP should undergo periodic revisions and updates.

The field of physical activity and public health continues to evolve. In recent years, numerous policies and legislation supporting physical activity have been proposed and/or implemented at the national, state, and local levels. In conjunction with on-going research in areas including physical activity behavior, measurement, and policy, the time to review the NPAP’s content and structure is rapidly approaching.

Ultimately, the NPAP will reach success when the vast majority of Americans regularly meet or surpass the Physical Activity Guidelines. So how do we get there? What strategies and tactics do you think need to be added to the current version of the plan? What strategies should be identified as high priority during the revision? And most importantly, how can we incorporate these changes and make the plan more user-friendly and successful?

If you have ideas for ways in which the content of the National Physical Activity Plan could be improved, please send those ideas to us.

Want to Lose Weight? Every Minute Counts!

Contributed by Dr. David Geier, The American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM)

Do you want to lose weight, but despite long sessions on the treadmill or elliptical trainer?

Most adults seem to fall into that category. Studies have shown that few Americans obtain at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity recommended in the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. Fortunately a new study published in the American Journal of Health Promotion suggests that any physical activity – assuming it is fairly intense – can help people lose weight, even if only done for very short periods.

Intensity and duration of physical activity

Jessie X. Fan and others at the University of Utah compiled data on 2,202 women and 2,309 men aged 18 to 64 who completed the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. They grouped the physical activity of the subjects into four categories: higher-intensity sessions greater than 10 minutes, higher-intensity sessions less than 10 minutes, lower-intensity sessions greater than 10 minutes, and lower-intensity sessions less than 10 minutes.

Higher-intensity exercise was defined as greater than 2,020 counts per minute as measured by an accelerometer. Researchers pointed out that walking 3 miles per hour was equivalent to that level of intensity. However, all activities – like walking in a store, climbing stairs, and much more – counted as long as it met the intensity levels monitored by the accelerometer.

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