Exercise Guidelines

2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans – www.health.gov/paguidelines

 

2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans is published by the US Government Health and Human Services (www.hhs.gov).  This publication is available from http://www.health.gov/PAGuidelines/pdf/paguide.pdf.

 

2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans

 

Substantial health benefits are gained by doing physical activity according to the Guidelines presented below for different groups.

 

Key guidelines from http://www.health.gov/PAGuidelines/default.aspx and http://www.health.gov/PAGuidelines/factsheetprof.aspx are:

 

 

“Children and Adolescents (aged 6–17)

Children and adolescents should do 1 hour (60 minutes) or more of physical activity every day.

Most of the 1 hour or more a day should be either moderate- or vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity.

 

As part of their daily physical activity, children and adolescents should do vigorous-intensity activity on at least 3 days per week. They also should do muscle-strengthening and bone-strengthening activity on at least 3 days per week.

 

Adults (aged 18–64)

Adults should do 2 hours and 30 minutes a week of moderate-intensity, or 1 hour and 15 minutes (75 minutes) a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity, or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity. Aerobic activity should be performed in episodes of at least 10 minutes, preferably spread throughout the week.

 

Additional health benefits are provided by increasing to 5 hours (300 minutes) a week of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity, or 2 hours and 30 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity physical activity, or an equivalent combination of both.

 

Adults should also do muscle-strengthening activities that involve all major muscle groups performed on 2 or more days per week.

 

Older Adults (aged 65 and older)

 

Older adults should follow the adult guidelines. If this is not possible due to limiting chronic conditions, older adults should be as physically active as their abilities allow. They should avoid inactivity. Older adults should do exercises that maintain or improve balance if they are at risk of falling.

 

For all individuals, some activity is better than none. Physical activity is safe for almost everyone, and the health benefits of physical activity far outweigh the risks. People without diagnosed chronic conditions (such as diabetes, heart disease, or osteoarthritis) and who do not have symptoms (e.g., chest pain or pressure, dizziness, or joint pain) do not need to consult with a health care provider about physical activity.”

 

Suggested Exercise for the Yogi

 

A daily Yoga practice provides significant exercise opportunities for stretching, cardiovascular health, and strength training.  Is Yoga by itself sufficient to meet the “2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans”?  While I consider that Yoga provides an excellent foundation for Physical Activity, additional activities, e.g. walking, aerobics, strength training is useful.  Suggestions:

 

1 – Have a daily individual Yoga practice for 20 – 30 minutes.  Consider vigorous, rapid Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskaaram) with jumps, windmills to Warrior (Virabhadrasana) poses.  Consider incorporating exercise press-ups/pushups, situps, side planks, etc. 

 

2 – Take 3 – 4 Yoga classes a week.  Consider taking frequent high tempo Rock-Asana Yoga classes with fast paced music.  These classes provide excellent stretching, cardiovascular health, and strength training.

 

3 – Take 2 – 3 Aerobics/Strength training classes a week at a gym or fitness center.  These classes provide excellent stretching, cardiovascular health, and strength training.

 

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