You know moving more is important to your health and helps you to be Healthy for Good. But did you know physical activity is good for your brain health and can even help you sleep better?
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released updated guidelines for physical activity this week, with some new information based on recent science. The American Heart Association has adopted the guidelines as our physical activity recommendations, too.
The guidelines give us more insight than ever into the many ways exercise benefits the body and mind.
Here are three important takeaways from the guidelines:
- Moving is good for you even in small amounts. In fact, any movement is good for you. It doesn’t matter how long you move. Take the stairs, park the car farther away, or do jumping jacks while on a conference call (but probably not on a video conference).These small actions add up to more overall movement and the minutes of physical activity you need for the day. At least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity is still recommended. But worry less about the numbers and focus on moving more and sitting less.
- A variety of exercises is good for you.Your body benefits most from mixing moderate-intensity exercises with vigorous-intensity exercises. A combination leads to more benefits for your body.Exercise even helps you sleep better and improves cognitive functions like memory and attention. So, mix up your workout routine. Brisk walking, yoga and ballroom dancing are examples of moderate intensity exercises. Jogging, swimming laps or jumping rope are examples of vigorous exercises.
- Sitting for too long is actually harmful to your health.Inactivity is bad for the body and increases your risk for several diseases. Activity as simple as walking immediately provides benefits to the body after periods of not moving.So, find time to move more and sit less throughout the day. If you’re watching your favorite show, try walking in place or doing squats at the same time. Watching doesn’t have to mean sitting!
The bottom line is: move more, with more intensity, and sit less.
These science-based guidelines help reinforce our understanding that being more active is one of the easiest and most effective ways to live a longer, healthier life.
How will you move more today?