CHICAGO – Move over, sit less and teach young active children as well as 3 years old, new federal guidelines say, pointing out that every amount and any type of exercise are healthier.
The council is the first update since government guidelines for physical activity came out ten years ago. Since then, the list of exercise benefits has increased, and there is even more evidence that could support things that were previously unknown, such as short, intense exercises and getting stairs instead of the elevator.
"Doing something better than doing nothing, and working more is better than something," said Dr. Donald Lloyd-Jones, a preventive medicine specialist at Northwestern University in Chicago.
The most important tips published Monday at a conference of the American Heart Association in Chicago and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association:
DECA AND TEENS
Biggest change: Start the young. Instructions started at age 6, but new ones say that preschoolers from 3 to 5 years are encouraged to participate in an active game during the day. They do not require a certain amount, but say that a reasonable target can be three hours of different intensities. This is in line with the guidelines in many other countries and represents the average amount of activity recorded in children of this age.
From the age of 6 to 17 years, at least one hour of moderately strong activity is recommended during the day. Most of this should be aerobic, such a type that can get to a heart rate such as fast walking, cycling or running. At least three times a week, the exercise should be energetic and include muscle and coca-strengthening activities such as climbing equipment for playground or playing sports.
Duration remains the same – at least 2
One key change: It has been thought that aerobic activity has to be performed for at least 10 minutes. It is now known that even a short time is helping. Even one episode of activity gives short-term benefits such as lowering blood pressure, reducing anxiety and improving sleep.
Especially harmful is sitting.
The advice is similar to the elderly, but activities should include things that promote balance in order to avoid falls.
IMPROVES YOUR LETTER E
Targeting young children is the goal of the project, Valentin Fuster, a cardiologist at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, has been working with the Heart Association and Sesame Vorkshop, the television company "Sesame Street" for years.
At the heart conference, he provided the results of an intensive four-month program to improve knowledge and attitudes about exercise and health among 562 children aged 3 to 5 years at pre-primary Head Start in Harlem.
"It was really successful," Fuster said. "Once they understand how the body works, they begin to understand physical activity" and its importance.
When brains are young, "it's the best opportunity" to set up healthy habits that last, he said.
Marilyn Marchione can be tracked to @ MMarchioneAP
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Marilin Marchione, The Associated Press