Here Are Your New Federal Exercise Guidelines

Move more, sit less, and get kids active as young as age 3, say new federal guidelines that stress any amount and any type of exercise helps health. The advice is the first update since the government’s physical activity guidelines came out a decade ago.

 ·        3- to 5-year-olds: The biggest change: Start young. Guidelines used to begin at age 6, but the new ones say preschoolers ages 3 through 5 should be encouraged to take part in active play through the day. A reasonable target may be three hours of various intensities.

 ·        6- to 17-year-olds: At least an hour of moderate-to-vigorous activity throughout the day is recommended, most of it aerobic. At least three times a week, exercise should be vigorous and include muscle- and bone-strengthening activities.

 ·        Adults: Duration stays the same—at least 2½ to 5 hours of moderate-intensity or 1 ¼ to 2 ½ hours of vigorous activity a week, plus at least two days that include muscle-strengthening exercise. One key change: It used to be thought that aerobic activity had to be done for at least 10 minutes. Now even short times are known to help.

 ·        Older adults: Add activities that promote balance to prevent falls.

 ·        Sitting all day: Still bad.